Field Reportings from Issue #51
STILL FEEL (NOT SO) GONE: In addition to the new live CD and DVD package Stone, Steel & Bright Lights (reviewed in this issue’s Live Wires section), Jay Farrar is offering a downloadable live show through his website (www.jayfarrar.net) of a July 24, 2003, gig at Seattle’s Showbox nightclub featuring Farrar backed by guitarist Mark Spencer and pedal steel guitarist Eric Heywood. . . .
Wilco has solidified the touring lineup for upcoming shows in support of its new disc A Ghost Is Born (due June 22 on Nonesuch) by adding keyboardist/guitarist Pat Sansone (Autumn Defense, Kim Richey) and guitarist Nels Cline (Geraldine Fibbers, Quartet Music). . . .
Former Wilco guitarist Jay Bennett plans to follow up his recent Undertow release Bigger Than Blue with another album in July and a third in October. He’s also continuing to produce discs for other bands, including the debut solo EP for former Star City frontman Jason Lewis titled Happy All The Time.
COMING SOON: The alt-country vocal collective Tres Chicas — ex-Whiskeytowner Caitlin Cary, former Hazeldiner Tonya Lamm, and Glory Fountain’s Lynn Blakey — unveil their Chris Stamey-produced debut Sweetwater on Yep Roc June 29. . . . Canadian singer-songwriter Hayden will release his latest work, Elk Lake Serenade, June 22 on Badman Recordings. . . .
To Tulsa And Back, the first new disc from J.J. Cale in seven years, arrives in June. . . .
Southern California chanteuse Eleni Mandell delivers her latest, Afternoon, June 15 on Zedtone Records. . . .
Lyle Lovett bassist Viktor Krauss produced the Jason White disc Tonight’s Top Story, which has a July release date. . . .
Also set for July is the new Chris Richards record Tumblers And Grits, produced by R.S. Field. . . .
John Prine, Raul Malo and Suzy Bogguss are among the artists on board for Dear Friends And Gentle Hearts, an upcoming Stephen Foster tribute. . . .
Look for The Silos’ latest, When The Telephone Rings, in August on Dualtone. . . .
The upcoming Todd Snider album East Nashville Skyline, on Oh Boy Records, will include contributions from Tim Carroll and Elizabeth Cook. . . .
Neko Case recorded several shows in March at Chicago’s Schubas Tavern for a live album tentatively scheduled to be released this fall. Among the backing musicians were the Sadies, Jim & Jennie & the Pinetops, Kelly Hogan, Carolyn Mark and Jon Rauhouse. . . .
The Yep Roc debut of R.E.M. sideman Ken Stringfellow is due this summer, and he has been recording with his former Posies bandmate Jon Auer for a disc to be released on Ryko. Stringfellow and Auer played a Big Star show with Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens at South By Southwest in Austin in March, with talk of a new Big Star album in the works.
ON THE DOTTED LINE: Philadelphia band Marah has found a new home with Yep Roc Records, which will release the group’s fourth album, 20,000 Streets Under The Sky, on June 29. . . .
New West has expanded its roster by bringing Dwight Yoakam and Buddy & Julie Miller into their fold. No word yet on release dates for their label debuts. . . .
Lost Highway artist Ryan Adams has started his own boutique label, Paxamerican. His first releases are two EPs of his own music. The Rescue Blues contains four old demos, while California features four newer tunes. The ever-prolific Adams also has a three-song EP, The Moroccan Role, available for download on Apple’s iTunes site. . . .
Richard Buckner has joined Merge Records; look for a new release in the fall. . . .
Junior Brown has moved from Curb to Telarc for his next disc, which is due in August. . . .
Zoe/Rounder will be putting out Resolution, the new disc from veteran roots-rockers the BoDeans, in June. . . .
Compadre Records’ new signee Kate Campbell has a trio of titles in the offing. There are two discs of new renditions of her tunes plus a reissue of her debut Songs From The Levee. . . .
Signature Sounds has signed Wisconsin singer-songwriter Jeffrey Foucault. Stripping Cane, featuring guest spots from Chris Smither and Peter Mulvey, will be out in August. . . .
4AD will be releasing the first studio album since 1995 from cult icon Scott Walker.
IN THE STUDIO: Bluegrass wunderkinds Nickel Creek have gone into the studio to make their third Sugar Hill album. . . .
American Music Club has reassembled to make their first new record since 1994’s San Francisco. . . .
George Jones has been working with producer Keith Stegall on a new album. He also sings on Jerry Lee Lewis’ new duets project. . . .
Bloodshot acts Split Lip Rayfield and the Yayhoos have both been back into the studio to record new discs. . . .
North Carolina singer-songwriter Tift Merritt is finishing up her sophomore album in Los Angeles with producer George Drakoulias.
RETURN ENGAGEMENT: I’m A Soldier In The Army Of The Lord, the long-unavailable 1982 album by the Blind Boys Of Alabama, will be released on CD for the first time June 29 on Philadelphia International/The Right Stuff, with six previously unreleased tracks. . . .
On May 24, Island issues Made To Love Magic, a Nick Drake collection that contains the previously unreleased cut “Tow The Line”. . . .
Vanguard is compiling a Peter Case anthology, with plans to include a couple new tunes plus a live track. . . .
A trio of early Robert Earl Keen albums — No Kinda Dancer, No. 2 Live Dinner and Bigger Piece Of Sky — is being put back in circulation by Koch. . . .
Also coming on Koch is a Johnny Paycheck set entitled In The Beginning. It covers his years on Little Darlin’ Records in the mid-’60s. Paycheck is also the subject of a tribute album, organized by Robbie Fulks, tentatively due in August on Sugar Hill and featuring tracks by George Jones, Neko Case, Jeff Tweedy and Buck Owens, among others.
UP ON CLINCH MOUNTAIN: Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley has been keeping plenty busy. He recorded the Stanley Brothers standard “Little Glass Of Wine” with Paul Burch for Bloodshot Records’ upcoming tenth-anniversary collection, and did a duet with Larry Sparks for a tribute album Rebel Records is assembling to honor Sparks’ 40 years of making music. . . .
Stanley, who was honored in March as Virginian of the Year, also is set to take part in the Cold Mountain/O Brother-inspired Great High Mountain Tour. Other acts scheduled for the T Bone Burnett-produced tour, the first leg of which opens May 5 in Knoxville, Tennessee, are Alison Krauss & Union Station, Norman & Nancy Blake, and Ollabelle.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Besides The Great High Mountain Tour, a wealth of other intriguing festivals, tours and concert events are coming up this spring and summer. The Grand Ole Opry will the travel the country with a roadshow starring Vince Gill, Patty Loveless and the Del McCoury Band. . . .
The Sweet Harmony Traveling Revue, with Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, and Buddy Miller, hits the road in August. . . .
The inaugural Songs On The Lake Festival July 31-August 1 in Lake Placid, New York, will feature Los Lobos, Guy Clark, Rosanne Cash, Sonny Landreth and others. The festival benefits the City of Hope cancer research. . . .
The eighth annual Twangfest hits St. Louis June 9-12. This year’s lineup includes Marah, Robbie Fulks, the Handsome Family, Cary Hudson, Danny Barnes, and Two Dollar Pistols. . . .
Fred Eaglesmith hosts such guests as Slaid Cleaves, Chris Knight and Oh Susanna for his fifth annual Roots On The River weekend June 10-13 in Bellows Falls, Vermont. . . .
Overseas, Bill Frisell has organized a trio of Century Of Song concerts. Elvis Costello guests on the first set of shows (May 21-22), Rickie Lee Jones and Vic Chesnutt play the second (June 25-26), and Ron Sexsmith and Jesse Harris perform at the third (July 9-10). The first and third shows take place in Bochum, Germany, while the second will be done in Essen, Germany. . . .
Return To Sin City, a tribute to Gram Parsons, will be held at Santa Barbara’s County Bowl on July 9 and Los Angeles’ Universal Amphitheater July 10. Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakam, Norah Jones and Jim Lauderdale have signed on for the shows, which will benefit the Musicians’ Assistance Program.
ACT NATURALLY: Music documentaries for both the large and small screen have proliferated lately. The SXSW Film Festival debuted two Texas music documentaries: Lubbock Lights (featuring the Flatlanders, Terry Allen, the Legendary Stardust Cowboy and others), which showed in a rough-cut version last year, and The Portrait Of Billy Joe, a look at the life of Billy Joe Shaver. . . .
Searching For The Wrong-Eyed Jesus, a quirky documentary about the American south, features Jim White, Johnny Dowd and the Handsome Family. . . .
In June, PBS’ American Masters series will broadcast Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues, which includes interviews with Hank Jr., Hank III and surviving members of the Drifting Cowboys. . . .
One of Johnny Cash’s last filmed interviews, as well as a performance with his daughter Rosanne Cash, is part of the PBS documentary The Appalachians, scheduled to air this fall. . . .
Bob Dylan will be the subject of both a Martin Scorsese documentary and Hollywood bio-pic directed by Todd Haynes, who made Velvet Goldmine. . . .
Kelly Hogan has contributed music to Lipstick & Dynamite, an upcoming documentary about women wrestlers.
ALL THE FIXINS: An article on Jon Rauhouse in ND #50 (March-April 2004) listed his hometown as Tucson, Arizona. He lives in Phoenix. . . .
A mention of Vestal Goodman’s passing in ND #50 listed her husband’s name as Harold. It was Howard. . . .
A review of the Dixie Chicks’ Top Of The World DVD listed the director as Sophie Muller. The concert film was produced and directed by Darrin Roberts and Luis Lopez.