Field Reportings from Issue #33
ROGER, WILCO: Of the many news items coming out of the WILCO camp, the biggest is the departure of drummer KEN COOMER. Taking over behind the kit is GLENN KOTCHE, who has worked with Paul K & the Weathermen, Chris Mills, Edith Frost and others, and has backed Wilco leader JEFF TWEEDY at solo performances. Tweedy and Kotche also recently worked together on the soundtrack for the forthcoming film Chelsea Walls, directed by Ethan Hawke and starring Kris Kristofferson and Uma Thurman. Wilco itself is also coming to the big screen: The band is currently being filmed for a documentary by director Sam Jones titled I’m Trying To Break Your Heart, which won’t be released until at least 2002. At SXSW in Austin in March, Coomer performed with SWAG, a supergroup of sorts featuring Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petersson, Mavericks alums Robert Reynolds and Jerry Dale McFadden, and Todd Rundgren cohort Doug Powell. Also making an appearance at SXSW was the AUTUMN DEFENSE, a side project of Wilco bassist JOHN STIRATT, while Wilco guitarist JAY BENNETT played on his own at a party hosted by Chicago club the Hideout. Wilco’s forthcoming Reprise disc is tentatively slated for a July 10 release….
TUPELO TERRITORY: As a result of a lawsuit against Rockville Records, Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar have obtained the rights to the master recordings for the first three UNCLE TUPELO albums (No Depression, Still Feel Gone, and March 16-20, 1992). These albums will be out-of-print for about a year while details are worked out concerning how the discs will be reissued, and by what label. The forthcoming reissues will be remastered and include bonus tracks. An Uncle Tupelo compilation is also planned….
RECORD TIME: Bloodshot Records artist KELLY HOGAN spent much of March in an Athens, Georgia, studio with producer Dave Barbe. Violinist/vocalist Andrew Bird contributes to the disc, which will include new originals along with covers of tunes by King Floyd, Charlie Rich, the Statler Brothers, and Smog’s Bill Callahan. It’s tentatively slated for a September release….
Texas artist JACK INGRAM is working on a new album for Lucky Dog Records, scheduled for an August 28 release. Producing is Frank Liddell (Chris Knight, Lee Ann Womack)….
At their SXSW performance, GILLIAN WELCH & DAVID RAWLINGS announced that they have an August 28 release date set for a new album, though they didn’t reveal who would be putting it out….
The PERNICE BROTHERS will release The World Won’t End on June 5. It will be the debut disc on ex-Scud Mountain Boy Joe Pernice’s new Ashmont Records….
Appleseed Recordings’ reissues of the JOHN WESLEY HARDING albums Awake and Trad Arr Jones contain some notable bonus tracks. The former includes a duet with Bruce Springsteen on a cover of Springsteen’s “Wreck On The Highway”; the latter features four cuts by Harding’s neo-Medieval folk-rock band Minstrel In The Galleries….
For her Atlantic Records debut, ELIZABETH COOK and her band, which includes renowned guitarist Kenny Vaughan, will cut all the tracks live in the studio, with Richard Dodd producing….
RICKY SKAGGS is working on another bluegrass disc with his band, Kentucky Thunder, as well as a duet album with Bruce Hornsby….
BY THE BOOK: Doghouse Roses, a collection of short stories by STEVE EARLE, will be published by Houghton Mifflin on June 13….
Earle is one of several musicians scheduled to appear in a fashion spread for the May issue of GQ. Also photographed were Ryan Adams, Neko Case, Dallas Good (of the Sadies), Jeff Tweedy, the Waco Brothers, and Hank Williams III….
RODNEY CROWELL penned the “My Perspective” column for the May issue of The Advocate. Commenting on the column, Crowell recently said, “As a straight man who knows many, many gay people, I think the message of acceptance and dignity needs to come from the heterosexual community, too.”….
Oxford, Mississippi, author LARRY BROWN teamed up with Bloodshot Records artist ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO in late April for a couple of combined music-and-reading in-stores in Chicago and Lexington, Kentucky. A third event was tentatively scheduled for New York City in mid-May….
ON THE TUBE: After 17 years and 500 broadcasts, the Charleston, West Virginia, radio show “MOUNTAIN STAGE” is also moving into television. The new series will be offered to public TV stations beginning in late August and will include short interviews conducted by Larry Groce, the host of the radio show. Each hour-long show will include performances by a diverse assortment of four to six acts. Scheduled to appear are Paul Brady, Larry Cordle, Alejandro Escovedo, Nanci Griffith, Delbert McClinton, Pinetop Perkins, and Rhonda Vincent….
CMT has declined to renew Billy Block’s “WESTERN BEAT” program. CMT aired 13 episodes between July 2000 and February 2001. The show, which is still being aired in Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Japan, may be packaged on VHS/DVD for the U.S. retail market….
In April, PBS will air the documentary The Last Stand Of The Tall Grass Prairie, featuring Lyle Lovett….
ONLINE: EMusic.com is offering historic recordings from the LOUISIANNA HAYRIDE radio show. The MP3 files include live performances of June Carter, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley…
RADNEY FOSTER has launched a new website and e-zine, www.PureSpunk.com….
The MICHEAL OCHS ARCHIVE has posted hundreds of vintage country photographs online at www.MichaelOchs.com….
BITS AND PIECES: The restructuring of the Asylum Nashville office has left GEORGE JONES and JAMIE O’HARA without a label….
After being hospitalized for 11 days in March for pneumonia, LORETTA LYNN has returned home to continue recovering….
Austin country singers-songwriters KELLY WILLIS and BRUCE ROBISON are the proud parents of Deral Otis Robison, born January 17…
Hoboken, New Jersey, band HEALTH & HAPPINESS SHOW played a farewell show April 6 in New York City.
ALL THE FIXINS’: Last issue’s Field Reportings column reported on the release of the album When In Texas by an artist named Sonny Burgess. There are two artists with that name. The new album is by country singer Sonny Burgess, a native of Cleburne, Texas, not to be confused with the rockabilly guitarist Sonny Burgess (of Newport, Arkansas), who recorded for Sun Records in the 1950s….
Last issue’s feature story on the Minus 5 and Young Fresh Fellows stated that the two bands’ dual album was released on Hollywood Records. It is on the Disney affiliate Mammoth (through band leader Scott McCaughey’s own imprint, Malt Records)….
An editing mistake in last issue’s feature story on Willard Grant Conspiracy resulted in the inaccurate assertion that the band’s albums were released in Europe by Glitterhouse. They were issued by Ryko/Slow River, with the exception of the band’s debut, 3AM Sunday @ Fortune Otto’s, which was distributed by Glitterhouse (and is now licensed to Ryko).