Field Reportings from Issue #40
SECOND TIME AROUND: The DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS’ double-disc Southern Rock Opera, originally issued last fall on the band’s own label, has been picked up by Lost Highway Records and will receive a national release on July 16. The label has also signed on to put out the DBTs’ next album, set to be recorded this summer with tentative plans for a spring 2003 release….
Audium has remixed, remastered, and retitled the DALE WATSON concert album Preachin’ To The Choir, previously available only as an import. The set, recorded in August 2000, is now called Live In London…England.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: Universal South issues Miss Fortune, the third album by Nashville’s ALLISON MOORER, on August 13….
The third album from NEKO CASE, Blacklisted, arrives August 20 on Bloodshot Records. Guests include Howe Gelb, Kelly Hogan and Calexico….
An acoustic disc from JOHN DOE hits stores on August 20, via the new label iMusic. Co-produced by Doe and Joe Henry, Dim Stars, Bright Sky features guest appearances by Jakob Dylan, Aimee Mann and Old 97’s frontman Rhett Miller….
Speaking of RHETT MILLER, he’s set to release The Instigator, his solo debut for Elektra, on August 27….
Also due August 27 is Hey Y’all, the Warner Bros. debut of Nashville newcomer ELIZABETH COOK. The album includes eleven original tunes plus a cover of Jessi Colter’s “I’m Not Lisa”….
September 3 brings the BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA back to the racks with Higher Ground, on Real World Records. Backing the Blind Boys on the record are pedal steel prodigy Robert Randolph and his Family Band; Ben Harper also appears on three tracks.
WORKS IN PROGRESS: New West Records has signed Athens, Georgia, songwriter VIC CHESNUTT, who is recording in Los Angeles and aiming to release a new album early next year….
Also recently recording in Los Angeles, with longtime Dwight Yoakam cohort Pete Anderson producing, have been REX HOBART & THE MISERY BOYS. Their album is scheduled for a fall release on Bloodshot….
London singer-songwriter PETER BRUNTNELL is finishing up his first album for Back Porch Records. The disc, with a working title Ends Of The Earth, is tentatively scheduled for a late-summer or early-fall release. A U.S. tour is expected to follow….
RYAN ADAMS spent a few days in April in a Nashville studio with renowned producer Scott Litt (R.E.M., Replacements, Nirvana, etc.) working on new material, though no recordings resulted from the sessions, and Litt has not signed on to produce Adams’ new record.
TRIBUTARIES: On September 10, Dualtone Records will release a tribute to JOHNNY CASH titled Dressed In Black. The album was co-produced by Dave Roe and BR549’s Chuck Mead, and mixed by Ray Kennedy. Participants include Rodney Crowell (“Ballad Of A Teenage Queen”), Rosie Flores (“Big River”), Robbie Fulks (“Cry, Cry, Cry”), Chris Knight (“Flesh & Blood”) and Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis (“Pack Up Your Sorrows”). Sony also has a Cash tribute in the works, titled Kindred Spirits and due September 24….
Astralwerks releases Total Lee, a tribute to songwriter LEE HAZELWOOD, on August 6. Contributors include Calexico, Lambchop, Johnny Dowd, the Webb Brothers, Evan Dando, and the Tindersticks….
Country star Pam Tillis performs songs penned by her father, MEL TILLIS, on It’s All Relative, due August 27 on Columbia/Lucky Dog. Special guests include singers Emmylou Harris, Trish Yearwood, Dolly Parton, and the Jordanaires, as well as Delbert McClinton on harmonica and Marty Stuart on mandolin….
MCA is working on a PATSY CLINE tribute. There will also be a DVD documentary about the making of the album, which includes Natalie Cole (“I Fall to Pieces”), Diana Krall (“Crazy”) and Lee Ann Womack (“She’s Got You”). Release date is pending….
RCA is putting together a sixteen-track tribute to the late WAYLON JENNINGS, tentatively scheduled for a February 2003 release.
LINEUP CHANGES: JASON & THE SCORCHERS drummer Perry Baggs, a member of the band since its inception in 1981, has left the group and is fronting a new group called the Nashville Sidewinders. The Scorchers plan to stay together with a new drummer, though frontman Jason Ringenberg is currently busy promoting his new solo album All Over Creation….
The current touring lineup of BR549 does not include co-leader Gary Bennett and bassist Jay McDowell, both of whom likely have left the band. Their replacements, for now, are Chris Scruggs and Geoff Firebaugh….
Following his arrest last year for heroin possession, bassist Howie Epstein has left TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS. Returning to the group is original Heartbreakers bassist Ron Blair. The band is slated to release a new album in October on Warner Bros.
SHOWS OF NOTE: Acts on this year’s HOOTENANNY festival in California include X, the Blasters, Joe Strummer, Hank Williams III, Reverend Horton Heat, and James Intveld. The festival takes place in San Diego (July 5), Los Angeles (July 6) and San Francisco (July 7)….
The first DOLLY PARTON tour in 10 years will consist of limited dates across the United States in July and August, followed by a tour of Great Britain in the fall. Accompanying her will be the core band from her new Sugar Hill disc Halos & Horns, including Steve Turner, Ken Wells, Jimmy Mattingly, Richard Dennison, Gary Davis, Brent Truitt, Terry Eldredge, and Randy Kohr….
Seattle’s annual BUMBERHOOT festival takes place over Labor Day weekend, August 30-September 2. Among the acts scheduled this year are Kelly Willis, Buddy & Julie Miller, the Derailers, the Gourds, Michelle Shocked, Jon Dee Graham, John Wesley Harding, Kevn Kinney, the Mekons, Richard Thompson, Dave Edmunds, Beachwood Sparks, and the Yonder Mountain String Band….
The inaugural AUSTIN CITY LIMITS MUSIC FESTIVAL will take place September 28-29 in Zilker Park. The event will feature dozens of acts on multiple stages. This Austin-centric celebration of music and food is modeled after the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, but is intended to be a smaller affair, seeking to draw around 30,000 fans per day….
The STATLER BROTHERS will perform their final concert on October 26 in Salem, Virginia. The vocal group first hit the road in 1964 as part of Johnny Cash’s show.
ODDS & ENDS: Sam Jones’ documentary of the making of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, has been picked up by Cowboy Pictures/Plexifilm and is scheduled to debut July 26 in New York City, with airings nationwide to follow in August and September….
The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences has awarded a $22,649 grant to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The grant will allow the UNC library to preserve and make available to the public over 200 recordings in its Southern Folklife Collection. Among the artists represented are Bob Dylan, Janis Ian, Tom Paxton and Pete Seeger. The recordings were donated to UNC by Agnes Cunningham and the late Gordon Friesen, who published Broadside magazine for a quarter century….
In early 2003, the International Bluegrass Music Association will move its staff and headquarters from Owensboro, Kentucky, to Nashville. The IBMA Museum will remain in Owensboro….
At press time, Acuff-Rose Publishing was for up sale by its owner, Gaylord Entertainment Company. The legendary company is expected to fetch $110 million….
Australian alt-country artist KASEY CHAMBERS and her partner, Cori Hopper, are the parents of a healthy baby boy, Talon Jordi Hopper, born May 22.
ALL THE FIXIN’S: A photo caption on page 66 of ND #39 (May-June 2002) misspelled the name of Bynum, North Carolina, folk artist Clyde Jones….
The Wilco article in ND #39 was incorrectly credited to contributing editor Roy Kasten on the table of contents page. The article was written by Paul Cantin (as properly credited on the piece itself).