Field Reportings from Issue #37
WILCO WORLD: After discussing offers from various labels, WILCO has signed with Nonesuch, which is tentatively planning to release the band’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in April. Wilco severed ties with Reprise after major disagreements with the label regarding the album, which was mixed by indie rocker Jim O’Rourke. Wilco reportedly bought the album back from Reprise for $50,000. Nonesuch, like Reprise, is part of the Warner Music Group. Wilco will play the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Los Angeles, scheduled for March 15-17.
I SHALL BE RELEASED: On February 26, Bloodshot Records will release the BOTTLE ROCKETS’ Songs Of Sahm, featuring 13 songs written by the late Doug Sahm….
March 26 finds former Whiskeytown fiddler CAITLIN CARY making her full-length solo debut with While You Weren’t Looking on Yep Roc Records….
Indie label Leaps Recordings has signed LONESOME BOB and will release his album Things Change on February 19. Guests include songwriters Tim Carroll, Allison Moorer, and Amy Rigby, as well as drummer Ken Coomer….
MICHELLE SHOCKED plans to release a new album, Deep Natural, on her own label, Mighty Sound, in March. Mighty Sound also expects to reissue Shocked’s back catalog this year, with additional bonus tracks….
Back Porch/Virgin is set to release La Musica Baldemar Huerta, a new album from FREDDY FENDER, on February 12….
Fender is one of many guest artists who appear on Texas Rain, a collection of previously unreleased versions of classic TOWNES VAN ZANDT songs recently issued by Tomato Records. The disc is not recognized as an authorized Townes release by Van Zandt’s estate.
RECORDS REVISITED: JOHNNY CASH turns 70 on February 26, and Columbia/Legacy is celebrating by reissuing seven of his albums on CD for the first time. Already out are 1972’s spoken-word album America and 1974’s batch of Cash-penned originals, Ragged Old Flag. Five more titles will be released on March 12: The Fabulous Johnny Cash, Hymns By Johnny Cash, Ride This Train, Orange Blossom Special, and Carryin’ On With Johnny Cash And June Carter….
Also due from Columbia/Legacy, on March 12, is a single-disc retrospective from UNCLE TUPELO. The compilation will include cuts from the band’s three Rockville releases and its final album for Sire/Reprise, as well as several rarities, including one previously unreleased track….
HighTone Records will release “Best Of” collections by DALE WATSON and GARY STEWART on January 15.
SOUNDTRACK TRAILS: A new Disney film titled The Rookie, due out in the spring, will feature a soundtrack on Hollywood Records focusing on alt-country acts. Possible contributors include Ryan Adams, Steve Earle, and Duane Jarvis. Among others who wrote songs for the movie were Gary Louris and Mark Olson — their first collaborative effort since Olson left the Jayhawks in 1996 — but at press time it was unclear whether their contribution would end up on the soundtrack….
Jay Farrar provided the musical score for a football film titled The Slaughter Rule. A new Farrar original, “Gather”, and a Cheri Knight cut appear on the movie’s soundtrack, which Bloodshot plans to release after the film finds a distributor….
Glissando, an independent film based on a story by acclaimed author Robert Boswell, features a soundtrack full of roots-music artists, including Kevn Kinney, Tim Easton, Paula Frazer, Jeffrey Dean Foster, Danielle Howle and Tom Clark, as well as longtime Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye. The movie is expected to travel the indie festival circuit in 2002.
FRESH IMPRINTS: T Bone Burnett, Joel Coen, and Ethan Coen, fresh from their success with the triple-platinum O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, have formed a new label. The first release on DMZ RECORDS will be by bluegrass titan Ralph Stanley….
MCA Nashville head honcho TONY BROWN will soon launch a new label focused on alt-country acts and singer-songwriters, to be distributed through Universal Music Group….
The first release on LEGEND RECORDS is the Merle Kilgore disc The Singer’s Songwriter. The album features Kilgore’s versions of songs that were hits for other artists, including “Wolverton Mountain” and “Johnny Reb”.
STUDIO TIME: The JAYHAWKS will spend January in the studio, working for the first time with producer Rick Rubin….
MARAH traveled to Wales to record its next album for Artemis. The band is working with producer Owen Morris (Oasis, The Verve)….
RYAN ADAMS recorded ten songs with BETH ORTON at producer Michael Blair’s studio in Norway in November. No word yet on any possible plans for release of the recordings….
Adams also has turned up in a side-project supergroup of sorts called the VIRGINS, with James Iha (ex-Smashing Pumpkins), Evan Dando (ex-Lemonheads), and Melissa Auf Der Maur (ex-Hole). The foursome reportedly plans to record an album in New York this winter….
Singer-songwriter siblings BRUCE and CHARLIE ROBISON are collaborating on a new album, slated to be recorded in January….
Neko Case is recording her next album at Waveland Studios in Tucson, Arizona.
PERSONNEL FILES: Phil Ledbetter has left J.D. Crowe’s band and formed a new bluegrass group, WILDFIRE. The band’s first Pinecastle album is Uncontained….
Ronnie Reno has formed the bluegrass/roots band RONNIE RENO & THE RENO TRADITION. Ronnie is the son of Don Reno, who became famous as half of a duo with Red Smiley….
Brian Capps has left the DOMINO KINGS in order to form a new band, and is currently working on a solo album for Slewfoot Records. Taking over on bass is Jim Ginnings, who has toured with the band as a guitarist. The Domino Kings’ new Slewfoot album, produced by Lou Whitney, is slated for a March release….
There are two new members of MIKE IRELAND & HOLLER. Joining bassist Ireland and guitarist Dan Mesh are John Horton (guitar) and Spencer Marquart (drums). The band is currently working on an album for Ashmont Records, to be produced by Ireland and keyboardist Michael Deming.
ODDS & ENDS: The lucky winner of the No Depression/Vanguard Records Songcatcher soundtrack contest is JOHN HEINS of Arlington, Virginia. Vanguard sent Heins a fiddle that was autographed by four artists from its Songcatcher soundtrack: Dolly Parton, Patty Loveless, Deana Carter, and Maria McKee….
“WORKSHIRTS & STARDUST,” an exhibit of paintings by husband-and-wife Guy and Susanna Clark, will be on display at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum through April. Guy’s self-portrait graced the cover of his album Old Friends; one of Susanna’s paintings appeared on the cover of Guy’s debut, Old No. 1….
In November, the Everly Brothers, Dennis Linde, and the late Johnny Russell were inducted into the NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME….
Jim Lauderdale will return as Honorary Chairperson for the CHRIS AUSTIN SONGWRITING CONTEST at this year’s Merlefest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Entries must be received by March 18. The finals take place on April 26 at the Chris Austin Stage, sponsored by ASCAP and No Depression.