Newswire

Nick Luca on tour w/John Doe!

Nick Luca- for the Grateful Web

Funzalo Records band Luca is putting out a new studio release in the Fall of 2007.  In the meantime, they've recorded a live CD, Coming In For A Landing, that will be available digitally at various outlets such as Emusic, HearMusic, AudioLunchbox, Apple I-Tunes, and all kinds of places that work with CD Baby. More information below.

The band's frontman, multi-instrumentalist and singer Nick Luca will also be selling it when he's on tour with John Doe.  Here's a list of the dates:

Thurs June 14, Sam Bond's Garage, Eugene OR
Fri June 15, Dante's, Portland OR
Sat June 16, Tractor Tavern, Seattle WA
Sun June 17, Nightlight, Bellingham WA
Wed June 20, Neurolux, Boise ID
Fri June 22, Lion's Lair, Denver CO
Sat June 23, Trilogy, Boulder CO
Sun June 24, Steve's Guitar Shop, Carbondale CO
Tues June 26, Blue Lamp, Sacramento CA
Wed June 27, 12 Galaxies, San Francisco CA
Thurs June 28, The Attic, Santa Cruz CA
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sat, July 7, Hootenanny Fest, Fullerton CA
Sun July 8, The Casbah, San Diego CA
Mon July 9, Plush, Tucson AZ
Wed July 11, Cactus Cafe, Austin TX
Thurs July 12, Granada Theater, Dallas TX
Sun July 15, The Abbey Pub, Chicago IL
Mon July 16, High Noon Saloon, Madison WI
Tues July 17, Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines IA
Wed July 18, 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis MN
Thur July 19, The Mill, Iowa City IA
Fri July 20, The Reverb, Cedar Falls IA
Mon July 23, Club Café, Pittsburgh PA

 

Luca's last CD, Sick of Love, moved the band's sound into rock territory and away from the jazzier stylings of their earlier incarnation as the Nick Luca Trio.  Since that last release, with the addition of guitarist Joey Unger and drummer Ryan Janac (both from Tucson sonic-popsters Sunday Afternoon), the band's sporting a more driving, guitar-based sound. (And yes, Nick Luca's longtime bandmate, bassist Chris Giambelluca, is still here.)

We thought it would be fun to capture Luca's evolution with a live CD, Coming In For A Landing, recorded this spring at a show at Tucson's beloved Club Congress. The set will be available digitally and sold at Luca shows.

Meantime, the brand new Luca studio full-length, Fractions, is looking at a tentative release date of October 2007.  Producer Sean Slade (Radiohead, Hole, Dinosaur Jr, the Pixies) spent a couple weeks in Tucson recording the new CD with Nick and the guys at Wavelab.

Cover songs on the new record include a Luca-ized version of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" and Jonathan Richman's quirky "I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar."  The band's been performing both songs during gigs, and you can preview them on the live CD, Coming In For A Landing.
 
Over & out - Lee Gutowski, publicist - Funzalo Records / Mike's Artist Management / PO Box 35880 / Tucson AZ 85740 - (520) 628 8655

ON DECK:

Luca COMING IN FOR A LANDING - live CD, limited release Recorded during a show at Tucson's beloved bastion of bacchanalia, Club Congress, this fun, well-attended romp gives a healthy taste of the band's latest incarnations with more guitar power present than ever before.  Check out the funked-up cover of Jonathan Richman's "Lesbian Bar."

Mostly Bears ONLY CHILD - EP out soon
Newest Funzalo signing Mostly Bears are a smokin' three-piece outta (yes) Tucson with indie chops to spare.  With seemingly boundless energy, they're busting outta the gate with this 4-song debut, channeling some weirdness with howling, other-worldly vocals, a metal guitar-bass- drums attack and a roofie's worth of psychedelia that'll
pique your interest for the upcoming full-length.

NEW IN '07:

The Breakers.dk HERE FOR A LAUGH - May 8 2007
Yah, the Danes are bringing that crazy American ROCK.  And what more could you ask for in your rock band than a lead singer by the name of Toke?!  Stay tuned for glam-ass punk vocals that conjure Rod the Mod in full Faces glory, backed by a band that can kick it old school a la the Stones, AC/DC, Thin Lizzy ... It's a gasgasGAS!

Green Pitch ACE OF HEARTS - March 6
What do you get when you mix fragile Bjorkish vocals, music box twinkle keyboard and melodica sounds, dreamy steel guitar string washes and cryptic yet full-fledged emotive lyrics?  All the way from Copenhagen, Green Pitch show how strong quiet can be.

Tony Furtado THIRTEEN - January 23
This guitar playin man is a force to be reckoned with.  His last outing, the live Bare Bones, took him into uncharted territory when he did a solo tour and recorded it himself.  On Thirteen, he's put his own stamp on some unexpected cover tunes, as well as written new songs that surpass his previous work in depth as well as rock.  The title track is an affecting memorial of the Sago Mine explosion that trapped thirteen men and eventually relinquished a lone survivor.

Rex Foundation Summer Festivals and More

Support the Rex Foundation!- for the Grateful Web

As summer quickly approaches, the Rex Foundation looks forward to seeing many of you at the following summer festivals:

    * July 4-8            Grateful Fest, Nelson, Ohio

    * July 13-15        All Good Festival, Masontown, W. Virginia

    * July 18-21        10,000 Lakes Festival, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

    * July 20-22        A Bear's Picnic, Milton, Pennsylvania

    * August 9-12     Gathering of the Vibes, Bridgeport, Connecticut

Check out Festival details via the Rex Foundation website, including the special 10,000 Lakes (10KLF) ticket purchase discount with a contribution to the Rex Community Caravan.  And, thanks to 10KLF and Matt Butler with The Everyone Orchestra, there will be a special Rex Jam on Friday, July 20th .  We encourage carpooling to minimize environmental impact.  In that spirit, the All Good Festival will contribute to Rex for each vehicle with 3 or more people.

The 2006 Annual Report was just mailed out, and is also available online.  We hope you enjoy reading the Report and seeing all that your support helps make happen.

Plans are underway for fall Rex Foundation benefits and fundraisers.  Plans include a special Dark Star Orchestra Rex Musical Caravan Tour beginning September 26th, where $1 per ticket will be contributed to the Rex Foundation, and a celebratory Black Tie-Dye Ball will happen along the way.

Blues Cruise Sets Sail October 2007 & January 2008

Taj Mahal- for the Grateful Web

The Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise is recognized as one of the top blues festivals on the planet. It is also the world's only chartered blues cruise.  In addition to their annual Caribbean cruise that sets sail from Florida each January, this year the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise offers their West Coast cruise to the Mexican Riviera.

The ship will hit the high seas on October 13, 2007 from San Diego, California, destined for the Mexican Riviera.  The five-star Holland America ms Oosterdam ship will sail for seven days, all the while hosting intimate and electrifying performances by the world's best rhythm and blues talent: over 70 live performances by 22 acts!  Cruisers have the option to temporarily get their feet back on the ground by indulging in the attractions and beaches of Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta , and Manzanillo.

Cruisers will bask to the perpetual rhythms of Blues Cruise "Captain" Taj Mahal & The International Rhythm Band, Elvin Bishop, Bobby Rush, Lowrider Band (Howard Scott, Lee Oskar, BB Dickerson & Harold Brown), Tommy Castro, Marcia Ball, Rod Piazza, Bernard Allison, Curtis Salgado, Janiva Magness, Eric Sardinas, John Lee Hooker, Jr, Sista Monica Parker, Doug MacLeod, Chico Banks, Eric Bibb, Earl Thomas, Eric Lindell, and Nathan James & Ben Hernandez.  Also on board are Piano Bar hosts Eden Brent and Leon Blue, plus invited special guests Ron Thompson, Lynwood Slim, Roy Gaines, Homemade Jamz Blues Band, and a host of unannounced surprise guests who will be onboard to share the excitement and join in Artist Spotlights and Jam Sessions.

Cruisers will witness many rare combinations of talent sharing the same stage and rub elbows with the stars by participating in artist workshops and autograph sessions.  Regular cruise headliner Taj Mahal exclaims, "It's a Blues Festival where everyone has a Backstage Pass!"

The testimonials are abundant: "Life-changing." "Magical." "The time of my life."

An ever growing family of dedicated fans are counting the days, hours, and minutes until the LRBC sets sail each year.  The cruise's menu of daily themes, contests, no-holds barred fun and sense of community are what really keep this ship afloat.

Letter from the Captain: http://www.bluescruise.com/experience.html
Artist & Cruiser Quotes: http://www.bluescruise.com/raves.html
Artist info page: http://www.bluescruise.com/mexicanriviera07.html

For more information visit www.BluesCruise.com or call 1-888-BLUESIN (258-3746).

Arthur Alexander's Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter

Arthur Alexander- for the Grateful Web

The only songwriter whose songs were covered by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley was Arthur Alexander. One of the greatest soul singers of all time, if not the best known, he penned "Anna," "Sally Sue Brown" and "You Better Move On" among many others. The Beatles modeled their early sound after him. Yet by 1980 – a young man, just 40 – Alexander had left the music industry and was driving a bus and working at a center for disadvantaged kids in Cleveland. That's exactly where the story of Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter – a deluxe package chronicling his improbable, triumphant yet tragically short-lived comeback in the early '90s – begins.
 
In one comprehensive 18-track volume, Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter (Hacktone Records, due out 8/21) combines Arthur Alexander's Ben Vaughn-produced final album for Nonesuch (awarded a rave feature review in Rolling Stone ) with previously unreleased material from NPR's "Fresh Air" in a rare on-air performance, the never-before-heard hotel room demos (including Arthur's take on Neil Diamond's "Solitary Man") and a live version of "Anna" recorded at New York's Bottom Line. It's a document of the second half of Alexander's career. The sound is lovingly restored and remastered as well as re-sequenced to producer Vaughn's original design. Vaughn's liner notes provide a intimate and detailed story of the singer's all-too-brief re-emergence. "If heartbreak had a sound," he writes, "it was this voice."
 
The core of the set is the Nonesuch album Lonely Just Like Me , which won some of the highest accolades of any album released in 1993. The project was instigated by Elektra A&R executive Danny Kahn, who spotted Alexander in a rare performance in 1992 (the live version of "Anna" included on this set is from that very performance). Kahn signed him to Nonesuch, which had launched the American Explorer series. He called upon artist/producer Ben Vaughn to convince Alexander to record. Vaughn boarded a plane to Cleveland and the two formed a fast bond. The contract was signed and the album recorded in Nashville. Sessions featured a number of Alexander's accompanists from the '60s – Dan Penn, Donnie Fritts, Reggie Young, Thomas Cain and Mike Leech – along with Alexander newbies Gary Nicholson, Tommy Spurlock, Ashley Cleveland and Jim Spake. Reaction to the comeback recording was palpable, with positive reaction from the music press and such artists as Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, McCartney, Bob Dylan, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Kris Kristofferson. Alexander told Vaughn, "It looks like those seeds I planted a long time ago were good seeds."

The album's warm reception energized Alexander, who obliged his many interview requests, played the South by Southwest music conference and performed on a special live broadcast of NPR's "Fresh Air." The excitement culminated with a concert in Nashville. Sadly the show did him in. Alexander was checked into the ER at the city's Baptist Hospital. Within days he had, as Vaughn notes, passed on to the next life. The album was still a new release with reviews breaking daily. A major comeback and rediscovery was tragically cut short.
 
Alexander's memory continues to burn brightly even 15 years down the road. HackTone Records' David Gorman and Michael Nieves have set out to create a definitive memorial to Alexander with Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter . They enlisted the assistance of both A&R man Kahn and Vaughn and emerged with this sumptuous package. Just don't call it a reissue – at least without qualification – as it contains many never-before-heard songs that might have easily never seen the light of day.


Arthur Alexander – Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter
Track listing:
 
1 If It's Really Got To Be This Way 03:59
2 Go Home Girl 03:49
3 Sally Sue Brown 02:41
4 All The Time 03:22
5 Lonely Just Like Me 03:07
6 Every Day I Have To Cry 02:42
7 In The Middle Of It All 03:54
8 Genie In The Jug 02:31
9 Mr. John 03:47
10 Johnny Heartbreak 03:31
11 There Is A Road 04:23
12 I Believe In Miracles 03:38
(1-12 from Lonely Just Like Me, re-ordered by Ban Vaughn)

13 Intro 00:10
14 Go Home Girl 03:44
15 Interview 1 02:51
16 Genie In The Jug 02:13
17 Interview 2 00:36
18 You Better Move On 02:58
19 Interview 3 01:35
20 Every Day I Have To Cry 02:51
(13-20 recorded live on NPR's "Fresh Air," May 7, 1993)

21 Solitary Man (Demo) 02:02
22 Johnny Heartbreak 01:45
23 Genie In The Jug (#2) 01:56
24 Lonely Just Like Me 02:41
(21-24 from original cassette of hotel room demos featuring Arthur Alexander, vocals; Ben Vaughn, guitars)

25 Anna 03:19
(#25 recorded live at the Bottom Line in New York during "In Their Own Words: A Bunch of Songwriters Sitting Around Singing," September 5, 1991)

26 Glory Road (exerpt) 00:48
(#26, hidden track, from hotel room demos)

HackTone was founded by a pair of crate diggers who believe that there's no such thing as "good music whose time has passed," and their new distribution deal with Rhino represents a return to the fold. Before launching design and marketing firm HackMart, co-founder David Gorman was Rhino's "Creative Czar," winning an Art Direction Grammy for the Beg, Scream & Shout: The Big 'Ol Box Of '60s Soul collection in 1998. Co-founder Michael Nieves served as head of Rhino's music licensing and publishing departments before founding licensing company Sugaroo!

Conscious Alliance Hosts Food Drives This Summer

photo(s) by Madison House- for the Grateful Web

Colorado not-for-profit Conscious Alliance continues to broaden their reach, hosting food drives at concerts and other events throughout the country this summer.  In addition to returning to such festivals as 10,000 Lakes, Wakarusa, Bonnaroo, All Good Music Festival, and Camp Bisco, and touring with such bands as Sound Tribe Sector 9 and The String Cheese Incident, Conscious Alliance will debut their services at the Joshua Tree Music Festival and the Taos Solar Music Festival, among others.  Conscious Alliance will also host their 1 st annual benefit festival, Sonic Bloom, in their home state of Colorado.

Their complete list of summer stops is as follows:
May 18-20 Joshua Tree Music Festival Joshua Tree, CA                  
June 7-10 Wakarusa Music Festival Lawrence, KS
June 14-17 Bonnaroo Music Festival Manchester, TN
June 21-23 Sonic Bloom Red Feather Lakes, CO
June 29-July 1 Taos Solar Music Festival Taos, NM
July 6-7 Re:Generation Music Festival Asheville, NC 
July 13-15 All Good Music Festival Masontown, WV
July18-21 10,000 Lakes Music Festival  Detroit Lakes, MN
August 3-5 Big Summer Classic Salem, MO
August 16-18 Camp Bisco VI Mariaville, NY
September 8 Power to the Peaceful Festival   San Francisco, CA 
September 14-16 Earthdance Laytonville, CA
September 20-24 Symbiosis Festival Northern CA
The String Cheese Incident Summer Tour
Sound Tribe Sector 9 Summer Tour

As always, attendees at the above events are encouraged to donate 10 or more non-perishable food items at the entrance, redeemable for an exclusive event poster. Food donated will benefit local America's Second Harvest food banks, and monies donated will help support the development of a second emergency food storage facility, this one on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana. Additional food drives to be announced. For more information visit www.conciousalliance.org.

Conscious Alliance is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to the redistribution of much needed food to the impoverished communities of the United States.  They operate an ongoing, national grassroots food collection and hunger awareness program. In short – they organize food drives at concerts and sporting events to collect food donations to benefit local food pantries and impoverished Indian reservations throughout the U.S.

Since their first event in 2002, Conscious Alliance has hosted hundreds of food drives at many events, including such music festivals as Bonnaroo, Power to the Peaceful, and the Langerado Music Festival, and for such artists as Jack Johnson, Foo Fighters, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Dead, The String Cheese Incident, and many, many others. The net result: the redistribution of over 300 tons of food – and counting!

During a Hurricane Katrina benefit concert in 2005, The Conscious Alliance teamed up with the Dave Matthews Band, resulting in the collection of over 30,000 lbs. of food and over $70,000 in donation money that supported the disaster relief efforts.

Also in the fall of 2005, Conscious Alliance completed the first phase of Project Restoration, a project that created a brand new food storage and distribution facility on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, in South Dakota.  The facility provides emergency food relief to hundreds of families each month, and phase two of the project is currently in progress.

SCI announces additional dates along their Summer Tour

SCI has confirmed two new "Incidents" along their sold out New York City and Colorado runs; Wednesday, July 11 th at the Beacon Theatre and Thursday, August 9 th at Red Rocks have been added to their Summer Tour schedule. Tickets for these two shows go on sale on Thursday, May 31 st at 10:00 am Mountain Time at www.stringcheeseincident.com.

Michelle Shocked's New Album, ToHEAVENuRIDE

- for the Grateful Web

Live set pays tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Staple Singers and Billie Holiday; set includes traditional spirituals as well as and original several new original songs.

"Ask me about my religion," writes Michelle Shocked in her "womanifesto" for her forthcoming album. "Of course, no one ever does." But it's all part of her long musical journey: "I was moved by the power of rock 'n' roll. And if you follow the trail from rock 'n' roll, it always leads you back to the blues, sweet soul music and finally to the churches and gospel music." In Shocked's case, it led to the West Angeles COGIC mass choir in the heart of South Central Los Angeles, where she now tries "living by the Good Book, and putting out a gospel record."
  
The resulting album, titled (and spelled) ToHeavenURide, is scheduled for August 21, 2007 release on Mighty Sound through Megaforce/RED.
  
For this set, recorded live at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in June 2003, Grammy Award winner Shocked enlisted her Bay Area rhythm section, shanghaied Nick Forster (Hot Rize, etown) to play pedal steel and recruited the singing Dancys from New Greater Circle Mission Church in South L.A. for backing vocals and keyboards.
  
The marriage between the spirit of gospel music and the crisp Rocky Mountain air resulted in a rollicking performance. Shocked presents two songs by one of her greatest influences — Sister Rosetta Tharpe ("Strange Things Happening Every Day," "Ain't Gonna Study War No More.") Tharpe is called the "father — well, mother — of rockabilly" in the notes, and the songs are dedicated to her spirit. Also featured are "The Weight" by The Band and "Uncloudy Day" and "Wade in the Water" by the Staple Singers. Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child" is given the Shocked treatment. Finally, "We're Blessed" by Fred Hammond of the Detroit gospel group Commissioned, a modern gospel standard, is brought out of the churches.
  
Shocked also introduces includes four originals here (one is previously unreleased): "The Quality of Mercy" (originally written for the soundtrack of the film Dead Man Walking), "Good News" (commissioned by Greenpeace for the documentary Cancer Alley), "Psalm" (which prove the Psalms are a fertile source of the folk tradition) and "Can't Take My Joy" (combining gospel and reggae traditions with a nod to Bob Marley).
  
Although the songs were recorded at the 2003 Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Shocked's contract plainly stipulated "no recording." However, for a festival DVD project recorded that year, her set happened to be digitally stored on a ProTools file. It never occurred to Shocked to ask of the existence of such a recording, but it did occur to her new manager. So, in keeping in the tradition of inadvertent "field recordings" which — in the case of her debut album Texas Campfire Tapes — was made on the sneak, ToHeavenURide is another great Michelle Shocked field recording that almost never saw the light of day.
  
"Fifteen years ago, I was moved by a quote from the Rev. Martin Luther King: "It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o'clock on Sunday morning." One white girl attending a black church wasn't going to change the world or anything, right?" writes Shocked in her ToHeavenURide manifesto, but she decided to "take the mountain to Mohammad." "I was just going to check out a gospel choir, ya know? . . . Years later, on top of another mountain, the holy spirit erupted. And now here I am bringing it home to you."
  
"The Lord works in mysterious ways. Or at least that's been my experience."
 
Shocked embarks on a national tour in support of ToHeavenURide this Fall.

Toubab Krewe Summer Tour

Toubab Krewe- for the Grateful Web

Toubab Krewe kicks off its U.S. Summer Tour on May 25 at the Lowertown Art and Music Festival in Paducah, KY. The run continues into September with shows from coast to coast, including performances at the Summer Camp, Asheville Music Jamboree, Wakarusa, High Sierra, 10,000 Lakes and Wall to Wall Guitar festivals.

The band started 2007 at the legendary Festival of the Desert in Essakane, Mali, known as the most remote festival in the world. The Malian tour was covered extensively by Afropop Worldwide, which declared that the band has "set a new standard for fusions of rock 'n' roll and West African music."

Toubab Krewe followed the tour of West Africa with a spring tour of the U.S., playing several dates with Toots and the Maytals and shows at the Langerado Music Festival, SxSW Music Festival and Merlefest, where members of the band performed with Rayna Gellert (Uncle Earl) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin).

Since forming in early 2005, the magnetic instrumental quintet has been credited with bridging the gap between West African and American music unlike any group before them, winning a diverse and devoted following and international acclaim from the New York Times, Global Rhythm, Relix, fRoots, NPR and more. Members of the group developed their unique sound over the course of numerous extended trips to Mali, Guinea, and Ivory Coast, where they immersed themselves in the local culture and studied and performed with luminaries such as Lamine Soumano, Vieux Kante, Madou Dembele and Koungbanan Conde.

The band is currently working on their sophomore album with Grammy winning producer Steven Heller, slated for an early 2008 release.

Tour Dates

5.25 | Paducah, KY | Lowertown Art and Music Festival
5.26 | Chillicothe, IL | Summer Camp 2007
5.29 | Bloomington, IN | Bluebird Nightclub
5.30 | Columbus, OH | The Basement/House of Crave
5.31 | Knoxville, TN | Sundown in the City w/ Ozomatli
5.31 | Knoxville, TN | World Grotto
6.01 | Horse Shoe, NC | Asheville Music Jamboree
6.02 | Athens, GA | Melting Point
6.03 | Atlanta, GA | Smith's Olde Bar
6.06 | St.Louis, MO | Lucas School House
6.07 | Lawrence, KS | Wakarusa
6.08 | Lawrence, KS | Wakarusa
6.13 | Fort Collins, CO | Hodi's Half Note
6.14 | Boulder, CO | Fox Theater
6.15 | Denver, CO | Quixote's True Blue
6.16 | Santa Fe, NM | Santa Fe Brewing Company
6.17 | Flagstaff, AZ | Mogollon Brewery
6.19 | Phoenix, AZ | Rhythm Room
6.20 | Tucson, AZ | Plush
6.22 | San Diego, CA | Winston's Beach Club
6.23 | San Diego, CA | Ocean Beach Fair
6.23 | Los Angeles, CA | Fais Do-Do
6.24 | Santa Barbara, CA |SOhO
6.27 | Sacramento, CA | Harlow's
6.28 | Santa Cruz, CA | Moe's Alley
6.30 | San Francisco, CA | 12 Galaxies
7.06 | Quincy, CA | High Sierra Music Festival
7.07 | Quincy, CA | High Sierra Music Festival
7.10 | Caspar, CA | Caspar Inn
7.13 | Seattle, WA | High Dive
7.14 | Portland, OR | Goodfoot Lounge
7.18 | Jackson, WY | Mangy Moose
7.19 | Big Sky, MT | Meadow Village Pavilion
7.21 | Detroit Lakes, MN | 10,000 Lakes Festival
7.27 | Floyd, VA | Floyd Festival
7.28 | Floyd, VA | Floyd Festival
8.18 | Governor's Island, NY | In the Pocket Concert Series
9.13 | Urbana, IL | Wall to Wall Guitar Festival

Doyle Lawson Gears Up for Busy Touring Season

Doyle Lawson- for the Grateful Web

Some men celebrate their 63rd birthday by starting a countdown to retirement, but for bluegrass legend - and road warrior - Doyle Lawson, April 20th was a milepost on the way to one of his busiest and most successful seasons yet.

Fresh off taping an episode of GAC's Edge Of Country with Kylie Harris (air dates June 23rd & June 25th) that focuses on his newest release, More Behind the Picture than the Wall (Rounder), Lawson paused to break some big news before heading back on the road.

"I'm happy to announce that the new member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver will be Ron Spears," he said.  "Ron will be playing bass and handling lead and harmony vocals.  Ron is a longtime student and fan of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and he understands the style - when we got together, the vocal blend with the trio and quartet was extremely pleasing to my ear.  I'm looking forward to his vocal input as well as having another songwriter in the band."  Spears, who penned "Ocean Of Teardrops" on Lawson's latest release, will start his new duties with Quicksilver on a yet-to-be-determined date.

In the meantime, the veteran bandleader is gearing up for a dizzying round of coast-to-coast performances and honors including stops at California's gigantic Stage Coach country music festival (5/6); Lawson's own bluegrass festival in Denton, NC (5/10-13) and Brooklyn, NY's Southpaw for a Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts performance on June 1st.  Tucked into the busy itinerary is a May 5th stop at Bristol, TN's King College, where Lawson will deliver this year's commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.

Offsetting the rigors of road life is More Behind The Picture Than The Wall, which is bidding to take its place among Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver's most successful releases.  The disc debuted at #2 on Billboard's Bluegrass Album chart week of release (March 27), with first week scans up more than 30% from the group's previous album.  Critics are raving about its "timeless message" (Barnes & Noble) and the quintet's "expert harmonizers" (L.A. Daily News).  "Quicksilver hears as clearly as ever the sound of traditions reborn," says No Depression of More Behind The Picture Than The Wall, and when they catch Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver in concert, this summer's fans will hear it, too.

2007 UPCOMING TOUR DATES 

5/12    Doyle Lawson Bluegrass Festival   Denton, NC

5/13    Doyle Lawson Bluegrass Festival   Denton, NC

5/18    Bloomin' BBQ & Bluegrass    Sevierville, TN

5/19    Community Theatre    McKee, KY

5/25    Twitchell Auditorium    Spartanburg, SC

5/26    Zellwood Corn Festival    Zellwood, FL

6/01    Southpaw    Brooklyn, NY

6/02    Graves Mountain Festival of Music    Syria, VA

6/03    Ram's Head On Stage    Annapolis, MD

6/08    McDukin Civic Center    Cullman, AL

6/09    GA Mountain Fair    Hiawassee, GA

6/16    NC State Bluegrass Festival    Cherokee, NC

6/20    Chatuaqua Festival    Wytheville, VA

6/21    River of Music    Owensboro, KY

6/22    Music in the Mountains    Summersville, WV

6/23    Renfro Valley Entertainment Center    Renfro Valley, KY

7/06    Starvy Creek Bluegrass Festival    Conway, MO

7/07    Shadow Valley Gospel Music Fest     Fayetteville, TN

7/12    Ryman Auditorium    Nashville, TN

7/13    N Georgia Bluegrass Festival    Cleveland, GA

7/14    Watermelon Park     Berryville, VA

7/19    Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival    Ancramdale, NY

7/21    Walton Park     Mineral, VA

7/25    MACC Festival    Columbus, OH

7/26    Porter Center for Performing Arts   Brevard, NC

7/28    Rocky Grass Festival    Lyons, CO

7/29    Rocky Grass Festival    Lyons, CA

8/04    Podunk Bluegrass Festival    East Hartford, CT

8/10    Stonehedge Bluegrass Festival    Gray, ME

8/11    Windmill Bay Farms    Alburg, VT

8/17    Cherokee Bluegrass Festival    Cherokee, NC

8/24    Grand Ole Gospel Theatre    Chocowinity, NC

8/25    Andy Griffith Playhouse    Mt. Airy, NC

Umphrey's McGee to Perform at the Crystal Ballroom

Bayliss - Photo by Tim Hurley- for the Grateful Web

Umphrey's McGee recently released The Bottom Half – a spontaneous and intriguing follow-up to their highly touted spring 2006 studio release Safety In NumbersThe Bottom Half includes two discs: disc one features ten songs that did not make it onto Safety In Numbers, while disc two offers outtakes, alternative versions of songs, a cappella recordings, and other bits from the band's 2005 studio sessions.  The album, which recently reached #26 on Billboard 's coveted "Heatseakers" Chart, is receiving highmarks;  HARP Magazine recently reviewed " …[The Bottom Half delivers] creamy studio work infused by diabolical skill."

Now, on the heels of a very special home-town Green Apple Festival performance to an over-flowing crowd of almost 15,000 at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and a National Anthem appearance at U.S. Cellular Field for the Chicago White Sox's home opener, Umphrey's McGee hits the road in support of The Bottom Half.

The current list of confirmed tourdates is as follows:

May 25-27 Summer Camp 2007 Chillicothe IL
June 01 Electric Factory Philadelphia PA
June 01-03 Mountain Jam Festival Hunter NY
June 07 Crystal Ballroom Portland OR
June 08 Truckee Regional Park Amphitheater Truckee CA
June 09 Harmony Festival Sonoma CA
June 10 The Catalyst Santa Cruz CA
June 12 Majestic Ventura Theatre Ventura CA
June 13 John Anson Ford Theatre Los Angeles CA
June 14 House of Blues San Diego CA
June 27 Charlottesville Pavilion Charlottesville VA With The Disco Biscuits
June 28 NTELOS Pavilion Portsmouth VA With The Disco Biscuits
June 29 Lincoln Theatre Street Stage Raleigh NC With The Disco Biscuits
June 30 Masquerade Park Atlanta GA With The Disco Biscuits
July 01 Pompano Beach Amphitheatre Pompano Beach FL With The Disco Biscuits
July 05 Summerfest 2007 Milwaukee WI
July 07 GratefulFest Garrettsville OH
July 13 Ogden Theatre Denver CO
July 13-15 Trancegression Festival Copper Mountain CO
July 19 10,000 Lakes Festival Detroit Lakes MN
August 17-18 Verizon Wireless Music Center Noblesville IN With Dave Matthews Band
August 28 Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Bonner Springs KS With Dave Matthews Band

More dates to be announced.

Umphrey's McGee's growing success has not gone unnoticed.  The band's virtuoso playing and edgy songcraft compelled Rolling Stone to choose them as "a band to watch" in their annual Hot Issue, and recently prompted Guitar Player Magazine to include the band's guitarists – Jake Cinninger and Brendan Bayliss – on their list of "Best Unsung Guitar Heroes."  Umphrey's McGee, who's headlining shows consistently sell-out from coast to coast, boasts appearances at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live, and many others.