Field Reportings from Issue #48
ESCOVEDO UPDATE: Support continues to flood in for ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO in his battle with complications from Hepatitis C. Upcoming benefit concerts include one featuring the reunited Backsliders in Raleigh, North Carolina, at Retail on November 23 as well as one at Houston’s Continental Club December 13….
Or Music is putting together of benefit album filled with covers of Escovedo songs that’s tentatively slated for an April 2004 release. As a thank-you to fans, Escovedo is making available downloads of several previously unreleased songs on his website (www.alejandroescovedo.com). The Alejandro Fund website (www.alejandrofund.com) also is selling a T-shirt featuring Jon Langford’s rendering of Escovedo on a horse….
Rykodisc is reissuing Escovedo’s 1996 album With These Hands as a double disc, including two previously unissued tunes and live material. The label also is reissuing The Pawn Shop Years by Escovedo’s side-project band Buick MacKane.
TRIBUTES & BENEFITS: St. Louis musicians Kip Loui and Tom Ray are organizing a tribute album for native son CHUCK BERRY that will serve a benefit for radio station KDHX. Jay Farrar, the Bottle Rockets and Nadine are among those slated to participate. The disc, tentatively titled The Chuck Project, is planned for release in the spring of 2004….
Also next year, Bloodshot will put out a tribute to WANDA JACKSON that will include contributions from Neko Case and Freakwater….
Case also is scheduled to appear on Touch My Heart, a Robbie Fulks-produced tribute to JOHNNY PAYCHECK featuring performances from Buck Owens, Bobby Bare Jr., Mavis Staples, Dave Alvin and Jeff Tweedy, among others. No label or release date have been confirmed yet….
Tweedy’s band WILCO has donated the previously unissued “Let Me Come Home” to The Amos House Collection, Vol. III, a compilation benefiting a Rhode Island nonprofit that helps the homeless.
AND THE WINNER IS: The second annual AMERICANA MUSIC AWARDS, presented September 19 in Nashville, was a celebratory yet bittersweet affair. Among the honorees were two men who recently passed away: Johnny Cash, winner in the Song Of The Year, Album Of The Year and Artist Of The Year categories; and Sam Phillips, who received the award for Lifetime Achievement for an Executive. The AMA President’s Award, presented annually to an influential figure no longer living, was given to Gram Parsons, 30 years to the day after his death on September 19, 1973 (his daughter, Polly Parsons, accepted the award). Other winners were Jerry Douglas (Instrumentalist Of The Year, repeating from 2002), Levon Helm (Lifetime Achievement for a Performer), John Prine (Lifetime Achievement for a Songwriter), and Kris Kristofferson (Spirit Of Americana Free Speech Award)….
The Del McCoury Band was named Entertainer of the Year for the second straight year, and eighth of the last nine, at the INTERNATIONAL BLUEGRASS MUSIC AWARDS on October 2 in Louisville, Kentucky. McCoury also became a Grand Ole Opry member later in October. Alison Krauss & Union Station received the Album of the Year award for their double-disc set Live, while the multi-artist Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. III was recognized as Recorded Event of the Year. Rhonda Vincent and Dan Tyminksi were selected top female and male vocalist, respectively. Winner for instrumental group went to Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, with vocal group honors doing to Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Inducted to the IBMA Hall of Honor was J.D. Crowe.
ON THE RACKS: The latest from RYAN ADAMS, titled Rock N Roll, hits stores November 4 on Lost Highway Records. The album was produced by Jim Barber. Adams and Jesse Malin are also reportedly among those going by aliases in hardcore punk band the Finger, whose disc We Are Fuck You/Punk’s Dead Let’s Fuck was issued September 23 on One Little Indian Records….
New on Bloodshot Records is OK, I’m Soeey, a collection of BOBBY BARE JR. outtakes and live recordings of songs from last year’s Young Criminals Starvation League, plus two video tracks.
COMING IN ’04: Travels In The South, the long-gestating solo outing from N.C. music icon CHRIS STAMEY, now has a March 23 release date on Yep Roc….
Texas legends the FLATLANDERS ride again early next year with their second New West record, Wheels Of Fortune….
Los Angeles hardcore honky-tonker CISCO will soon unveil the belated follow-up to his 1998 debut Wishing You Well From A Pink Motel, on Little Dog Records. It was produced by PETE ANDERSON, who will issue an instrumental album under his own name next year….
BURRITO DELUXE, featuring Sneaky Pete Kleinow and Garth Hudson, will deliver their sophomore disc early in the new year….
2004 will see a new studio effort from JOHN PRINE. His Oh Boy label also will release a new disc from JANIS IAN, titled Billie’s Bones, which includes a duet with Dolly Parton….
GRAHAM PARKER has made a rootsy-rock record for Bloodshot, which will also offer up next year the debut disc by DOLLAR STORE, a band fronted by Waco Brothers member Dean Schlabowske….
Rebel Records has signed North Carolina bluegrass band the STEEP CANYON RANGERS, with plans for an early ’04 release.
RETURN ENGAGEMENTS: The four Texas Hotel Records discs made by VIC CHESNUTT in the early ’90s have been picked up by his current label New West, which will release them in expanded versions over the next year or so….
MICHELLE SHOCKED is continuing to reissue her albums, with Captain Swing up next in a deluxe double disc edition….
TERRY ALLEN will soon see his 1975 debut Juarez reissued by Sugar Hill.
FESTIVE FARE: Tickets go on sale November 11 for next year’s MERLEFEST in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. The 2004 lineup includes Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Earl Scruggs, the Gourds, Rosanne Cash, Patty Loveless, the Derailers, Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison among the scheduled performers….
Austin’s annual SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST music conference and festival is March 17- 21….
Also on tap for early next year, February 26-29 to be specific, is the NORTH AMERICAN FOLK ALLIANCE CONFERENCE, which will be held in San Diego this year….
The 38th annual BILL MONROE MEMORIAL BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL is set for June 13-19 in, as always, Bean Blossom, Indiana.
BITS AND PIECES: JOHN ANDERSON, recovering quickly from his August 30 heart attack, returned to the road a few short weeks after a brief hospital stay….
NICKEL CREEK is now two-for-two in gold records. The band’s sophomore effort for Sugar Hill, This Side, hit a half-million sales in September; its self-titled 2000 debut is nearing platinum status. The band also recently taped an episode for the revived PBS music series “Soundstage”….
MIKE IRELAND has assembled a new version of his backing band Holler, supplementing his longtime guitarist Dan Mesh with guitarist Gary Parades, drummer Matt Brahl, and Nate Hofer (formerly of Rex Hobart’s Misery Boys) on pedal steel and dobro.
BRANCHING OUT: Nashville country singer-songwriter PAUL BURCH, whose Fool For Love came out in October on Bloodshot, is working on a soundtrack for a PBS documentary on Appalachia….
The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has named WARREN ZANES as their Vice President of Education. Known for his 1980s days in Boston band the Del Fuegos and the recent acclaimed solo disc Memory Girls, Zanes has a Doctorate in Visual and Creative Arts as well as two Master’s Degrees.
ALL THE FIXINS: The title of Justin Lute’s album, reviewed in ND #47, is Adventures Of Lori Lou (not Lu).