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Archive for April, 2009

On April 21, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings will release Pete Seeger‘s American Favorite Ballads, a five-CD box-set featuring thetime-honored classics Pete Seeger recorded with Moses Asch between 1957 and 1962. All five volumes of Seeger’s landmark recordings, instrumental in sparking the folk revival of the 1960s, are presented here in beautiful packaging, digitally re-mastered, with exhaustive liner notes and historical annotations for each song written by the compiler Guy Logsdon and Smithsonian Folkways archivist Jeff Place.

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ATLANTA, GA – True North Records announces a May 19 release date for From the Water, the 11th and latest solo album from multi-talented roots music artist Colin Linden. True North Records is distributed in the U.S. by Koch Entertainment.

From the Water was created by Colin Linden and some of his closest friends after the passing of Colin’s best friend and constant collaborator, the great keyboardist Richard Bell, perhaps best known to American audiences as a one-time member of Janis Joplin’s Full Tilt Boogie Band. Richard and Colin played together for 18 years and had many adventures with the likes of The Band, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, Bruce Cockburn, Lucinda Williams, Colin James and literally scores of others. Richard and Colin played on over 100 albums together and more than 40 that were produced by Linden.  All of the musicians on From the Water were all dear friends of Richard’s – including Gary Craig (Associate Producer, Drums), Johnny Dymond (Bass), Bryan Owings, (Drums/Percussion) and John Whynot, who has played keyboards, recorded, mixed, mastered almost every album Colin Linden has made in his extensive career.   Other guests include Paul Reddick on harmonica and the Memphis Horns featuring Wayne Jackson, who also arranged and played on Linden’s 2004 album, Southern Jumbo. (more…)

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LOS ANGELES — When the legendary rock impresario Bill Graham closed the Fillmore West in 1971, the San Francisco venue had become an institution, an integral part of the West Coast music scene in the ’60s. Always the showman, Graham made sure the Fillmore West was sent off in a blaze of glory, scheduling five nights of concerts featuring bands like the Grateful Dead and Santana – that got their start at this storied concert hall. Both the madness leading up to the shows and the concerts were filmed for Fillmore: The Last Days, a documentary originally released in 1972. Long out-of-print, Rhino and the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation present the DVD debut of this film on June 2. It will be available from all retail outlets, including www.rhino.com, for a suggested list price of $19.99. Filmore: The Last Days is part of special programming airing on PBS stations in May and June 2009 (please check local listings). (more…)

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DES MOINES, Iowa (April 7, 2009) — National headliners will converge with top local and regional acts at 80/35 presented by U.S. Cellular on July 3 and 4 in downtown Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. 80/35, the second annual summer music festival organized by the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition (DMMC), announced 11 of the more than 40 acts scheduled to appear over 4th of July weekend. (more…)

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Alasdair Fraser & the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers“…the massed San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers are an experience not to be missed.”

– San Francisco Chronicle

“…a raucous, extemporaneous sampling of authentic music from the highlands and islands of Scotland. . . . no delayed standing ovation here; the audience instantaneously rose to its feet with the pieces final notes.”

– Anchorage Daily News

Alasdair Fraser and the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers Fiddlers create musical magic. Fast-paced and family-friendly, the concerts feature more than 100 tartan-clad musicians. The massed ranks of fiddles are joined by cellos, guitars, drums, harps, flutes, basses, piano, bagpipes, and harmonica to fill the hall with irresistible rhythm and melody.

Founded in 1986, the group has grown to over 200 members from all over Northern California, the US and Canada, and the wide world of traditional music. Varying widely in age and backgrounds, the fiddlers are drawn together by their love of Celtic traditional music. Prized in the group is the ability to play by ear, to feel the music deep in one’s soul, and be enough in the moment to follow spontaneous changes of direction during performances.

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South Memphis String BandDickinson from the North Mississippi Allstars, Grammy winner Hart and former Squirrel Nut Zipper Mathus came together as friends and musical confreres, fans of the Mississippi blues and string band tradition.

COMO, Miss. ­ The South Memphis String Band, a trio composed of Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars), Alvin “Youngblood” Hart (Grammy-winning bluesman) and Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers), launches its first tour on April 23, 2009 in Dallas, Texas, targeting the East and South. The three friends, bound by Memphis and North Mississippi roots, will tour ahead of recording their debut album later this year. So far only two songs have been unveiled, both at the trio’s MySpace page myspace.com/southmemphisstringband. So the April and May dates will be an opportunity for fans to get in on the ground floor.

South Memphis String Band logoAlthough they’d known each other for years, the trio’s musical spirit gelled last year when they recorded a yet-unreleased album with Luther’s father, legendary producer Jim Dickinson, called New Moon Jellyroll Freedom Rockers.

The South Memphis String Band was greatly influenced by the Mississippi Sheiks, Gus Cannon & the Memphis Jug Band and other string bands and jug bands of their ilk, as well as Mississippi Delta and Hill Country blues. They will travel with a passel of guitars, mandolins, banjos, lap steel guitars and harmonicas.

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Gathering of the Vibes 2008Four-day event to showcase musical legends, support charitable causes and Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Woodstock

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (April 7, 2009):  Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) will be among several extraordinary musical artists to perform at the 14th Annual Gathering of the Vibes, July 23-26, 2009, at Seaside Park, Bridgeport, Connecticut.  In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, CSN will be joined by fellow Woodstock participants Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Levon Helm, former drummer and vocalist for The Band, and activist Wavy Gravy, who will serve as master of ceremonies.

CSN, whose first gig together was in 1969 at Woodstock, will highlight a very special Sunday Family Day at the Vibes.  The final day of this year’s four-day event also features performances from the world-famous Harlem Gospel Choir, progressive reggae artists John Brown’s Body, neoclassic rockers Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, and legendary blues guitarist Buddy Guy.  To encourage families to make an event of the day, kids 15 and under will be admitted FREE with their parents on Sunday, July 26.

“This is a great opportunity for families to get out and some spend quality time with each other in an absolutely beautiful environment,” said Ken Hays, executive director of Gathering of the Vibes.  “Last year, we had over 1,200 attendees under the age of 13 join us for an incredible weekend on the shores of Long Island Sound.  This is a chance for parents to share some of the music that makes up the soundtrack of their lives with the next generation.”

The Vibes 2009 Main Stage line-up includes: Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir & RatDog, five-time Grammy award winner Buddy Guy, funk legend George Clinton, Boston’s indie-rockers State Radio and Guster, longtime Vibes favorite moe., legendary drummer Levon Helm, the Harlem Gospel Choir and many, many more!

* Additional artists to be confirmed.

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WILKESBORO, N.C. (April 6, 2009)–Finalists have been selected for the 17th annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, hosted by MerleFest 2009, scheduled for April 23-26 on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Writers of the following twelve songs, selected from 840 entries, will compete on the Austin Stage at MerleFest on Friday, April 24, at 2:00 p.m.:

Bluegrass category

  • “Water Falls” by Wyatt Espalin and Cobi Ferguson; Nashville, TN
  • “Love Gone By” by Carol Hausner and Coin McCaffrey; Montpelier, VT
  • “The Old Coal Mine” by Brink Brinkman; Columbus, OH

Gospel category

  • “I Had A Little Talk with Jesus” by Richard Henry; Houston, TX
  • “Little Bitty Piece of God” by Jo Ellen Doering; Los Angeles, CA
  • “Beyond the Rain” by Brink Brinkman; Columbus, OH

Country category

  • “Maybe You’ll Start Loving Me Again” by Lloyd Wood; Spencer, IN
  • “Man of Few Words” by Dennis Duff; Kuttawa, KY
  • “Once Upon a Time” by Tonya Lowman; Lenoir, NC

General category

  • “Carolina Rain” by Ron Fetner; Seaford, VA
  • “I Will Fly” by John Smith; Trempealeau, WI
  • “Unmarked Pavement” by Letha and Miles Costin; Raleigh, NC

The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest is a unique opportunity for aspiring writers to have their original songs heard and judged by a panel of Nashville music industry professionals, under the direction of this year’s volunteer contest chairperson, Grammy®-winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale.

First place winners in each category receive: a performance on the Cabin Stage at MerleFest 2009, an acoustic guitar, a check for $300, two boxes of D’Addario strings and a one-year subscription to Acoustic Guitar magazine. Second and third place winners in each category receive performance slots on the Friday night Songwriters Coffeehouse, as well as cash prizes, D’Addario strings and Acoustic Guitar subscriptions.

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Dougie MacLean

Dougie MacLean

Some of the world’s top Celtic artists will be making their way to Highland Perthshire this autumn for Dougie MacLean’s Perthshire Amber Festival in October and November. The Festival kicks off with Dougie and Eddi Reader at Pitlochry Festival Theatre and finishes with a gala concert at Perth Concert Hall.

Guests so far announced include fantastic Irish band Beoga, Australian band Sunas, rising Scottish star Heidi Talbot, favourite tune and songsters Malinky, The Michael McGoldrick Trio, Duncan Chisolm and a host of Dougie’s musical friends from around the globe performing in eleven concerts across the ten days.

Dougie will feature in ten of the concerts performing solo, with his band and his trio. He will also play a unique concert with his 1990’s band when they perform his “Indigenous” album live for the first time. The ten day festival runs from October the 31st at venues across Perthshire.

Dougie told us, “We are delighted with this year’s line up for what looks to be the biggest and best Perthshire Amber yet. We have more concerts at more venues with more musicians involved than in previous years. Our biggest step is that we are going to hold a major concert in Perth for the first time. The Caledonia Concert will feature wonderful musicians from five different countries who I have had a connection with over the years. I have been lucky enough to have had my songs recorded by some amazing artists and friends. The Caledonia Concert will feature some of these musicians.

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The famous Dirty Linen Events/Festivals list has been updated. Start planning your summer vacation…

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