Field Reportings from Issue #46
CORNSHUCKS CLASSICS: In the wake of last issue’s cover story about Mildred Jorman, a.k.a. Little Miss Cornshucks, the French record label Melodie Jazz Classic has announced plans to release Little Miss Cornshucks: 1947-1951, a compilation of recordings Cornshucks made for various labels including Coral and Sunbeam. It’s scheduled to be out on July 29. There are no present plans for a U.S. release.
FOR PETE’S SAKE: An updated version of “Bring Them Home”, a song Pete Seeger originally wrote during the Vietnam War, features Seeger trading verses with Steve Earle, Ani DiFranco and Billy Bragg, and will be included on his upcoming disc, Seeds: The Songs of Pete Seeger, Volume 3, due in August on Appleseed Records. Seeger, who turned 84 in May, has been an outspoken supporter of the right to free speech since the McCarthy era; his refusal to cooperate with the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the mid-1950s resulted in a conviction for contempt of Congress, which carried a yearlong jail sentence that was never served because the case was appealed and dismissed six years later.
COMING SOON: A posthumous album from June Carter Cash, to be titled Wildwood Flower, is set for a September 9 release on Dualtone Records, which also recently reissued her 1999 Grammy-winning disc Press On….
Also pending from Dualtone, in August, is a new disc from Chris Knight titled The Jealous Kind….
Rodney Crowell’s first album for DMZ, a new Columbia affiliate helmed by T Bone Burnett and the Coen Brothers, is titled Fate’s Right Hand and is due out July 29….
Coming this fall on Lost Highway is a duet album by Willie Nelson & Ray Price….
Neil Young’s summer tour is serving as a preview of sorts for a new concept album titled Greendale that’s tentatively set for an August release on Reprise, reportedly to be accompanied by a DVD of a home movie….
Natalie Merchant is releasing a new album of traditional songs titled The House Carpenter’s Daughter in July on her own label, Myth America Records. It’s her first release since departing the Elektra roster….
Anti/Epitaph has set a September 9 release date for a new disc from Joe Henry, titled Tiny Voices….
The Warner Bros. debut of young sacred steel and jam-band guitar phenom Robert Randolph & the Family Band is due August 5, with an appearance on “Late Night With David Letterman” scheduled for release day….
Canada’s Cash Brothers will issue their second album, A Brand New Light, on Zoe/Rounder Records on August 12….
Koch Records has scheduled a September 9 release for the debut disc by Some Girls, a new project featuring original Blake Babies members Juliana Hatfield and Freda Love….
Coming this fall on Sugar Hill Records is Just Because I’m A Woman, an all-female tribute album to Dolly Parton. Among those who have contributed tracks are Alison Krauss (“About Suzanne”), Kasey Chambers (“Little Sparrow”), Norah Jones (“The Grass Is Blue”), Allison Moorer (“Light Of A Clear Blue Morning”), Shelby Lynne (“The Seeker”), Melissa Etheridge (“I Will Always Love You”), and Shania Twain (“Coat Of Many Colors”).
FESTIVE FARE: Highlights of this year’s Newport Folk Festival, held August 15-17 at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island, include a Saturday songwriter’s circle featuring Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Guy Clark and Joe Ely. Other Saturday performers include John Prine, Nickel Creek, Tift Merritt, Mary Gauthier, Slaid Cleaves and Jimmy LaFave. Sunday’s lineup includes Ani DiFranco, Sam Bush, Kim Richey, Alison Brown, and Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion. The festival opens on Friday at the Viking Hotel with a Woody Guthrie tribute concert. More information is available at www.newportfolk.com…
The second annual Austin City Limits Festival is set for September 19-21 at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. This year’s performers include R.E.M., Al Green, Lucinda Williams, Rosanne Cash, Mavis Staples, Liz Phair, Patty Griffin, Alejandro Escovedo, the Derailers, the Gourds, Richard Buckner, Asleep At The Wheel, and Los Lobos. More information is available at www.aclfestival.com…
This year’s Mountain Stage NewSong Festival, held at Claymont Court just outside Charles Town, West Virginia, September 26-28, will include performances by Darrell Scott, Tim O’Brien, Kathy Mattea, Last Train Home and others. The event also includes the NewSong Performing Songwriters Contest, with the winner earning a guest spot on the renowned “Mountain Stage” syndicated radio and television program. More information is available at www.newsongfestival.com…
Winners of this year’s Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest, held April 24-27 at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, included Scott Carter of Nashville, Tennessee, in the general category; Connie Townsend & Dave Parker of Elkins, West Virginia, in the country category; Adrienne Young of Nashville, Tennessee, in the bluegrass category; and Ruth Bloomquist of Muskegon, Michigan, in the gospel category. Steve Lewis of Todd, North Carolina, won the Doc Watson Guitar Championship; Ryan Cavanaugh of Chapel Hill, North Carolina won the Merle Watson Bluegrass Banjo Championship; and Chris Harris of Eden, North Carolina, won the Mandolin Contest.
IN THE WORKS: DreamWorks Records has signed Brooklyn, New York, band Hem and will re-release the group’s debut disc Rabbit Songs (originally issued independently in 2001 and picked up by Bar/None last year) on July 22. The group will be recording their proper DreamWorks debut shortly….
American Roots Publishing, a new nonprofit group headed by Tamara Saviano, plans a spring 2004 release for Joe Ely’s first novel, Super Reverb….
The Bottle Rockets recently recorded a new album at a studio in Hoboken, New Jersey, with Allman Brothers pedal steel guitarist Warren Haynes producing. No word yet on what label might release the record….
Tentative plans are apparently afoot for a new Whiskeytown album and tour. Along with frontman Ryan Adams and fiddler Caitlin Cary, the lineup would include Cary’s husband Skillet Gilmore (the group’s original drummer) and a couple of players to be named later….
Started earlier this year, and scheduled to be completed in the year 2642, is As Slow As Possible, a rendition of the John Cage composition of the same name being performed on a church organ in Halberstadt, Germany. Originally written as a 20-minute piece for piano, it is being drawn out to be played over the course of 639 years, by the design of a group of European musicians and philosophers. The first three notes of the piece, which was begun in February, will last for a year and a half.
ALL THE FIXINS: A photograph of Ray Wylie Hubbard’s Cowboy Twinkies on pages 100-101 of ND #45 incorrectly identified the bassist as Bob Livingston. It was Dennis Mehan. . . .
The hotel lounge featured in the DVD Last Of The Mississippi Jukes (reviewed in ND #45’s film column) is located in Jackson, not Clarksdale. . . .
The photograph of Alejandro Escovedo’s quintet in ND #45’s Miked section was taken by Susan (not Sharon) and Dan Benson. . . .
And Mark Nevers, producer of the most recent Bonnie Prince Billy album, was never in the Nevers.