Field Reportings from Issue #47
POR VIDA: Musicians across the country reacted to the news of Alejandro Escovedo’s recent hospitalization from complications of Hepatitis C by organizing efforts to raise funds for the Texas singer-songwriter, who has no health insurance. The Continental Club in Escovedo’s longtime hometown of Austin hosted two nights of benefits on June 25-26; another two-night stand followed on July 31 and August 1 at the Abbey Pub in Chicago and Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn, Illinois. Other fund-raising concerts in the works include a show at the Experience Music Project in Seattle possibly scheduled for September, and an event in Raleigh, North Carolina, tentatively scheduled for November 23 at Retail. Tentative plans are in the works for an Escovedo tribute album with proceeds helping to defray his medical costs. More information about Escovedo’s condition and fund-raising efforts is online at www.alejandrofund.com.
MAIN EVENTS: Two of the year’s most prominent gatherings for Americana acts go head-to-head on the third weekend in September this year. The Americana Music Association convention runs Thursday through Saturday, September 18-20 in Nashville, with evening showcases at various nightclubs featuring performances by Joe Ely, Buddy Miller, the Del McCoury Band, Rodney Crowell, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Caitlin Cary, Danny Barnes and others. The association’s second annual awards show is on Friday evening. More information is at www.americanamusic.org….
Running Friday through Sunday, September 19-21, is the second annual Austin City Limits Festival in Austin, Texas. Among the acts performing at Zilker Park are Dwight Yoakam, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle & the Dukes, Los Lobos, Nickel Creek, the Mavericks, Rosanne Cash, the Old 97’s, Jay Farrar, the Drive-By Truckers, Billy Joe Shaver, Tift Merritt, Richard Buckner, the Gourds, Tim Easton, and J.T. Van Zandt. For more information, go to www.aclfestival.com….
A couple weeks later, bluegrass takes center stage at the International Bluegrass Music Awards on October 2 at the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville, Kentucky. Details are at www.ibma.org.
COMING SOON: Los Angeles label Trampoline is issuing the latest from St. Louis band Nadine, titled Strange Seasons, on September 2…
Hello Starling, the sophomore album from Boston singer-songwriter Josh Ritter, is due out September 9 on Signature Sounds….
Also releasing his sophomore album on September 9 is Texas country singer Rodney Hayden, whose Living The Good Life is his first for Nashville’s Audium Records. The disc was co-produced by Rich Brotherton and Robert Earl Keen, who is also now with Audium. The label has set an October 7 release for Keen’s Farm Fresh Onions, produced by Brotherton and featuring guest spots from Shawn Colvin and Ian McLagan…
Brotherton also produced Wellspring, the new disc on the Blue Corn label from Caroline Herring, winner of Best New Artist honors at the 2002 Austin Music Awards….
A new album by Matthew Ryan, Regret Over The Waters, is due in late September on Hybrid Records. Ryan also produced the recent debut disc of Austin singer-songwriter Jeff Klein, Everybody Loves A Winner, for One Little Indian Records….
Pennsylvania band Frog Holler returns to the racks this fall with Railings on the Record Cellar label….
An October 14 date has been finalized for the release of the much-anticipated Dolly Parton tribute Just Because I’m A Woman (featuring Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Kasey Chambers, Shania Twain and others)….
Also due October 14 is Heart Trouble, the new disc from Wanda Jackson on CMH Records. It includes a duet with Elvis Costello plus guest appearances from Dave Alvin, Rosie Flores, Raul Malo, and members of the Cramps….
Bloodshot Records has scheduled an October 21 release for a new disc by Paul Burch, titled Fool For Love….
Also due on October 21 on Yep Roc, is A Day At The Farm With Farmer Jason, the first foray into children’s music for Jason Ringenberg.
IN THE WORKS: In late July, Ryan Adams was finishing up recording in New York for a new album expected to be released in the fall on Lost Highway. Meanwhile, his former band Whiskeytown’s song “Choked Up” — covered by Minibar on its 2001 album Road Movies but never released on one of Whiskeytown’s own records — is among the tracks selected for an upcoming Lost Highway compilation called Lost & Found. Also included are Johnny Cash’s version of “Wichita Lineman” (previously available only on the vinyl version of his American IV album) and a track from the Jayhawks’ long-out-of-print 1986 debut album….
A new American Music Club record, featuring original members Mark Eitzel, Vudi, Dan Pearson and Tim Mooney, is being recorded in San Francisco. Tentatively planned for spring 2004, it would be the group’s first album since 1994’s San Francisco. Eitzel also has a solo album in the works with Jay Bennett producing….
New to the Sugar Hill Records roster is Grey DeLisle, whose first album for the label is expected sometime in 2004.
TAG-TEAM TOURING: On the heels of their recent U.S. tour with the Jayhawks, the Thorns (Matthew Sweet, Pete Droge, Shawn Mullins) embark September 5 on a month-long tour of Europe and Australia as the opening act for the Dixie Chicks….
New York City band Canyon, which recently released a live album on DCN Records, is touring in September and October with Jay Farrar, serving as both the opening act and as Farrar’s backing band.
BITS AND PIECES: The 2002 album Live from Allison Krauss & Union Station was certified platinum for 1 million sales in the United States in late July, the same week that a DVD version of the concert recording was released….
The new Gillian Welch disc Soul Journey debuted in mid-July at #107 on the Billboard 200 album chart, her highest-charting debut to date. Her 2001 album Time (The Revelator) had debuted at #157….
Kris Kristofferson is reportedly working on his memoirs, which are tentatively scheduled to be published by Hyperion in 2005….
“Maybe Life Is A Railroad Crossing”, an exhibit of photographs taken by legendary Texas songwriter Butch Hancock, is on display through December 12 at the Buddy Holly Center in Hancock’s hometown of Lubbock. More information is at www.buddyhollycenter.org.
ALL THE FIXINS: Last issue’s news column referred to an upcoming Bottle Rockets album being produced by Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers. Haynes plays slide and electric guitar, not pedal steel….
A review of Allison Moorer’s album Show in ND #46 stated she had been on three Nashville labels. She has been on two (MCA Nashville and Universal South).