Newswire

Swing Fiddler/Vocalist Elana James Releases Solo Debut

Elana James- for the Grateful Web

"When one door closes, another opens" might seem little more than a comforting cliché, but don't try telling that to Elana James.  Dealt a nasty surprise little more than two years ago, when the band she'd worked with for close to a decade suddenly dissolved, James was more pleasantly stunned just weeks later by an invitation to join Bob Dylan's band - and what she learned in the course of touring with a legend set her on a new path whose first (but certainly not last) milestone is the February 27th, 2007 release of her solo debut, Elana James (self released on Snarf).

Almost evenly divided between captivating originals and deftly chosen standards, Elana James is a portrait of an artist at the crossroads between where she's been and where she's headed.  Whether she's singing or leading a swinging instrumental with her violin, James is confident and convincing - the legacy of years spent as a member of the acclaimed Hot Club Of Cowtown.  But while the album offers a healthy dose of her own take on the energetic "string jazz" that was the Hot Club's stock in trade, it points in new directions, too, serving up a compelling change of pace with "All The World And I," a haunting folk-flavored song that reveals a hitherto-unknown side of her creativity.  Leavened by favorites like Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)," the sprightly western swing anthem "Silver Bells," and a tip of the hat to Dylan ("One More Night"), Elana James marks the arrival of a strong new musical voice.

Even more than her contributions to the Hot Club's repertoire did, the set's original songs display Elana's deep affinity for the musical vocabulary of swing.  Backed by an ensemble that includes both current band members and some of the brightest lights of her adopted home town of Austin's rich musical scene, songs like "Twenty-Four Hours A Day," "Oh, Baby" and "Down The Line" go down smooth, yet swing ferociously from the first note to the last.  There's a nod to the dancers with the classic lines of her "Eva's Waltz," too, while James - with some help from Texas fiddle/mandolin legend Johnny Gimble - brings her own touch to "Goodbye Liza Jane" and "Silver Bells" in instrumental interludes that serve to complement the songs and highlight both James's and the ensemble's virtuosity.  And when it comes to interpreting standards, Elana easily rises to the challenge, whether giving a winsome reading of country music pioneer Carson Robison's "The Little Green Valley" or a sultry take on "I Don't Mind."

elana"One thing I realized when I was playing in Bob Dylan's band was that what we were doing was what everyone is doing, just at a higher level," James says.  "You write some songs, you teach them to people, and then you tour around and play them.  He's had unparalleled success, and he's peerless in what he does, and yet - on the outside, he's still off doing exactly the same thing as everyone else.  That was a revelation to me.  And it made me realize that if I started my own thing, there's a lot of dignity in just doing it; you don't have to worry about who you're playing for, you don't have to worry about how it's received, you just have to do it."

For Elana James, that realization led to a new career - and with the release of Elana James, it's led to a new opportunity for connoisseurs to discover the full extent of a remarkable musician's talent.

Elana James & The Continental Two ~ 2007 Tour Dates

* With Bruce Robison (solo)

3/16 SXSW / Momo's (9 PM) / Austin, TX
3/17 Gruene Hall / New Braunfels, TX

3/21 Maria's Taco Express / Austin, TX

3/23 Club Helsinki / Great Barrington, MA

3/24 United Methodist Church / Middlebury, VT
3/27-29 Rodeo Bar / NYC
3/30 Café Nine / New Haven, CT
3/31 Narrows Center for the Arts / Fall River, MA
4/10 Coffee Gallery / Altadena, CA

4/12 The Mint / Los Angeles, CA
4/13 Acoustic Music San Diego / San Diego, CA

4/14 West Side Theatre / Newman, CA
4/15 Freight & Salvage / Berkeley, CA
4/16 Don Quixote's Intl Music Hall / Felton, CA
4/18 Grass Valley Center for the Arts / Grass Valley, CA
4/19 Palm's Playhouse /  Winters, CA
4/20 Hotel Utah Saloon / San Francisco, CA
5/03 Continental Club / Houston, TX
5/05 Continental Club / Austin, TX
5/06 Gruene Hall / New Braunfels, TX
5/29 Ballard Park / Ridgefield, CT
5/30 Club Passim / Cambridge, MA

Wakarusa VIP Package & Rare Phish t-shirts Up For Auction!

Wakarusa VIP package- for the Grateful Web

Time remains for a few great items up for charity auction.  One is which is a Wakarusa VIP package including:  private, secure campground directly adjacent to the main concert areas front row viewing, Complimentary food and beverage service two catered meals, per day (Thursday - Sunday) VIP Campground Pavilion, featuring couches and exclusive, VIP entertainment, Air Conditioned bathrooms, and more!

Also, you'll find find cool Phish t-shirts & a Phish Satin Pass package.  The t-shirts include:  original, brand new, and very rare t-shirts: Vegas Package - April 2004 (L), Halloween 1998 (M), Summer 2004 Package - Alpine (L), Coney Island (L), Sarasota Springs (L), Deer Creek (L), Hampton (L), and Mansfield (L).  And the Satin Pass package includes: Aftershows from 2004 (6/18, 6/19, 6/23, 6/24), Clinic from 2004 (6/18, 6/19, 6/23), Phish Photo, Phish Miami (generic), Trey (generic), Phish Aftershow (generic), Hospitality (1/3/03).

SCI Welcomes Special Guests for their Annual Winter Carnival

Here in Colorado, the snow has been falling, falling… and falling.  To celebrate the winter white, The String Cheese Incident announces their annual Winter Carnival run of shows, this year confirmed for March 22nd, 23rd, and 24th at Denver's Fillmore Auditorium, and March 26th and 27th at Dobson Ice Arena in Vail.

Viglione Tours in March & April with Fellow Bostonians, HUMANWINE

Dresden Dolls- for the Grateful Web

Dresden Dolls' drummer Brian Viglione keeps busy while the band takes a rare break from touring.  Look for him this spring sitting in with gypsy punkers HUMANWINE.

Brian Viglione, the dramatic, spot-on drummer of punk cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls, has been playing music plenty - despite a rare respite from the Dolls' typically non-stop touring schedule.  On the heels of a winter run starring and playing drums in the American Repertoire Theatre's production of The Onion Cellar (Cambridge, MA) and a residency at Boston's Lilypad with The Gil Aharon Trio (Gil Aharon/piano and Andrew DiMola/upright bass), Viglione today announces an even busier spring, packed with guest tour appearances, drum clinics, and even the filming of an online instructional DVD (to be released on disc and online this spring).

Look for Viglione on tour in March and April with fellow Bostonians, and comrades in the city's underground gypsy-music scene, HUMANWINE.  Much like The Dresden Dolls a few year's back, HUMANWINE was voted "Best New Act" at the 2006 Boston Music Awards and in the Boston Phoenix/WFNX Best Music Poll 2006. The brainchild of M@ McNiss and Holly Brewer, the duo are the Conductors of a rotating band they dub "The army that isn't here to fight." Viglione will tour this spring as the band's drummer, alongside Paul Dilley [Reverend Glasseye] on contra bass.  Brian's drumming is also featured on HUMANWINE's debut album, Fighting Naked, to be released on Warner Brother's Cordless Records this spring.

The list of confirmed HUMANWINE dates to feature Brian Viglione is as follows:

March 27  Johnny Brenda's  Philadelphia, PA
March 28  Club Café  Pittsburgh, PA
March 29  Little Brother's  Columbus, OH
March 30  The Grog Shop  Cleveland, OH
March 31  Subterranean  Chicago, IL
April 01  Shank Hall  Milwaukee, WI
April 03  7th Street Entry  Minneapolis, MN
April 05  Grand Emporium  Kansas City, MO
April 07  Mercy Lounge  Nashville, TN
April 10  The Five Spot  Atlanta, GA
April 11  Local 506  Chapel Hill, NC
April 12  The New York Howl  Richmond, VA
April 15  DC9  Washington, DC
April 20  The Paradise  Boston, MA
April 21  Tonic  New York, NY w/ Nervous Cabaret

For more information visit www.humanwine.org.

The Dresden Dolls are a Boston based keyboard/drum duo now famous around the globe.  After signing with Roadrunner Records in early 2004, the band re-released their self-titled debut The Dresden Dolls to worldwide acclaim and recently made their Billboard chart debut with their equally applauded follow up Yes, Virginia. The band's live audiences continue to grow exponentially, as The Dresden Dolls have completed sold-out tours on four continents, supported Nine Inch Nails, and performed at prestigious world festivals including Reading, Leeds, Coachella, Fuji Rock, Roskilde, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Glastonbury.  Locally they have won numerous awards ranging from multiple Boston Music Awards to topping the Boston Phoenix/FNX Best Music Poll.  The Dresden Dolls will hit the road in June for an exciting summer tour.

Sunny Sweeney Releases Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame

Sunny Sweeney- for the Grateful Web

Keeping things twangy, tangy & tonkin' Sunny Sweeney releases Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame on Big Machine Records.  Catch Austin based Sunny Sweeney and her cracker-jack band at one of her many tour dates (below) or her upcoming SXSW performances!

"Not many debut discs sound this confident, poised, and excited." - Steve Pick, No Depression, 11/2006

"In East Texas honky-tonk queen, she has that brash confident approach that once personified Patsy Cline." - Fred Dellar, Mojo,11/6/2006

"Rarely do beauty, brains and brawn co-exist so organically as they do in Sunny Sweeney. Her brand of tough love might be the long-sought antidote for the vapid excesses that continue to infest mainstream country." - Darryl Smyers, Dallas Observer, 1/24/2007

"This honky-tonker confidently strides down a path that has been traversed by Rosie Flores, Kelly Willis and Miranda Lambert." - Bobby Reed, Chicago Sun Times, 3/4/07

"The girl can wail, and hopefully someone's paying attention . . . 4 stars."  - James Kelly, Creative Loafing (Atlanta), 1/9/2007

"Sweeney doesn't seem to care a flip about what's going on anyplace but right there in the Lone Star State, keeping things twangy, tangy, and tonkin' . . . . It's been a long time since any young female - think Joy Lynn White, maybe - got this deep-dish country."  - Alanna Nash, Amazon.com, 2/7/2007

 " . . . made from equal parts hick cool and industrial-strength Lone Star honky-tonk sawdust and stardust. Hall of Fame, her debut, is an invigorating batch of hard country tunes sung with a gutsy rural twang." - Rachel Swan, East Bay Express, 11/27/2006

"This debut is downright irresistible, with Sweeney's hankering for hooks not disturbing the hayseed charm. . . . Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame is a sweet, drawling mix of wistful, melodic sway and dancefloor precision." - Michael Corcoran, Austin American Statesman, 10/3/2006

SUNNY SWEENEY TOUR DATES 2007

3/14/07    Austin Airport/BMI Stage      SXSW
3/14/07    The Parish/AMA Showcase       SXSW
3/18/07    KHYI TX Music Revolution      Parker, TX
3/23/07    Floores Country Store         Helotes, TX
3/24/07    Muldoon's Saloon              El Campo, TX
3/31/07    Love & War in TX              Plano, TX
4/5/07     The Auslander                 Fredericksburg, TX
4/6/07     Gruene Hall                   New Braunfels, TX
4/7/07     Woody's Tavern                Fort Worth, TX
4/11/07    Hyatt Regency Lost Pines      Lost Pines, TX
4/13/07    All Good Café                 Dallas, TX
4/20/07    The Horseman                  Fort Worth, TX
4/21/07    Barton Creek Resort           Austin, TX
4/21/07    Continental Club              Austin, TX
4/27/07    Floore's Country Store        Helotes, TX
5/16/07    8.0's                         Fort Worth, TX
5/18/07    Red & Jerry's Rocky Mtn.      Sheridan, CO
5/19/07    Rock Springs Civic Ctr        Rock Springs, WY 
10/12/07   Sparks Ranch                  Longview, TX

REGGAE ON THE RIVER

REGGAE ON THE RIVER- for the Grateful Web

The Mateel Community Center Inc. and 2b1 Multimedia, Inc. present the 24th annual REGGAE ON THE RIVER festival. The festival will be held in the REGGAE ON THE RIVER tradition on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 3rd, 4th and 5th, at the Dimmick Ranch and French's Camp in Piercy, California.

The confirmed lineup features International artists and performers such as; The Roots, Norris Man, Angelique Kidjo, Little Hero, Lutan Fyah, Neutral Sisters, Lee"Scratch"Perry, Culture Featuring Kenyatta Hill, The Itals, Mad Professor, Wailing Souls, Sierra Leon's Refugee Allstars, and Norris Man, Dubconscious, Dr Israel,. There are several artists that will confirm in the upcoming 2-3 weeks, please check the Reggae on the River website (www.reggaeontheriver.com) for future artist and performer updates.

3-Day Festival Pass - $165.00   Includes river bar camping.

VIP Lounge - $250.00 AVAILABILITY VERY LIMITED . Includes 3-Day Festival Pass. For your enjoyment and convenience, the VIP Lounge, an exclusive area restricted to VIP guests, will feature complimentary snacks and refreshments plus full beverage service, video monitors showing the performance in progress and private restrooms. Included is a "Limited Edition Collector's Laminate" and Lanyard

Pre-event early arrival - is additional $50 . This entitles you to express lane entry and camping on Thursday. Thursday arrival must have the festival pass and Pre-event early arrival pass.

For more information on the camping options this year, including a map of the various locations, visit our website at www.reggaeontheriver.com

AMERICANA MUSIC ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES SXSW SHOWCASE

The Americana Music Association has announced the lineup for their showcase at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2007. The show will take place on Wednesday, March 14 at The Parish in Austin. This event is open to SXSW attendees, and to the general public.
 

San Fran's Underground DJ Releases New Album, "Underground Communication'

- for the Grateful Web

With "the largest cult following of any DJ in San Francisco" and voted "Best DJ" by Nitevibe.com and SF Bay Guardian , Bassnectar's music is forging new paths in the electronic music world, the Burning Man scene, underground hip hop circles, and beyond. Playing at nearly one-hundred and fifty shows a year, to thousands of different people a month; from national festivals to sold-out theaters to overcrowded clubs and warehouses to tight and tiny bars and venues, Bassnectar's enormous popularity reflects the current hunger for raw substance in modern music and a desire for social integrity within the music scene. The brainchild of Lorin Ashton, Bassnectar is an experimentally collaborative music project, but it's also a platform for social change and political awareness. It's stylistically specific, yet it's an eclectic, full spectrum adventure.

Ten years into a strong underground career, 2005 saw the debut of Bassnectar's double-disc collection entitled Mesmerizing The Ultra , described as "a kaleidoscopically brilliant funk conception" by All Music Guide [Amazon.com]. For the next release, Underground Communication (Om Records/May 8, 2007), Bassnectar takes another step forward in his genre-bending blend of musical styles and emotions, combining the visceral melodic presence of modern listening music with the force and volume of sound system dancefloor devastation. The new record is an exploration of hip-hop culture, featuring scores of MCs and rhythmic poetics mashed atop a heavy, driving range of tempo and, of course, those signature throbbing bass lines. Rooted firmly in political conviction and philosophical intention, and backed by a rabid fan base and dedicated following, Underground Communication sets a new standard for the possibilities of merging music, art, new media and social activism.

Bassnectar's live shows are a modern day social mosh pit of hippies, ex-ravers, hipsters, dub reggae heads, Dead-heads, Burning Man freaks, artists, fashion experimentalists, social activists, and hip-hop enthusiasts, all packed into one steamy room of grinding, orgiastic expression and musical experimentation.

Bassnectar is on tour this spring in support of Underground Communication , including select shows with percussive groovers Zilla and visionary puppeteers the Funginears.  Bassnectar's current list of confirmed shows is as follows:

February 23 1015 Folsom San Francisco CA
Feburary 24 The Cal Neva Crystal Bay NV w/ Heavyweight Dub Champion
March 02 Mangy Moose Saloon Teton Village WY
March 03 Abe and Jake's Landing Lawrence KS
March 15 Mercury Hall Church Austin TX
March 17 SXSW Showcase Austin TX
March 27 Dobson Ice Arena Vail CO w/ The String Cheese Incident
March 30 Vet's Hall Santa Cruz CA w/ Zilla, Funginears, Souleye
March 31 DNA Lounge San Francisco CA  w/ Zilla, Funginears, Souleye
April 03 The Armory Ashland OR w/ Zilla, Funginears, Souleye
April 04 The Grove Bend OR w/ Funginears, Souleye
April 05 Wow Hall Eugene OR w/ Zilla, Funginears, Souleye
April 06 City Repair Warehouse Portland OR w/ Zilla, Funginears, Souleye
April 07 Felix Showdown Seattle WA w/ Zilla, Funginears, Souleye
April 10 The Nightlight Bellingham WA Funginears, Souleye

STAX REISSUES JOHNNIE TAYLOR'S LIVE ALBUM, ' LIVE AT THE SUMMIT CLUB'

Johnnie Taylor- for the Grateful Web

Johnnie Taylor, one of the greatest soul singers who ever lived, was at the peak of his game on September 23, 1972, when he sang to an effusive crowd at the now-defunct Summit Club in South Los Angeles. The show was captured on tape and will be reissued February 20 by Stax Records as Johnnie Taylor: Live at the Summit Club.

 
The live album, produced by Al Bell, the then-president of Stax Records, was recorded at the time of the historic two-day Wattstax concert at nearby Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  The Wattstax bill was filled, so Stax put many of its artists into nearby clubs where they were taped and filmed.

 
As well as including his biggest hits ("Who's Making Love," "Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone"), the album contains six previously unreleased tracks that emphasize the blues side of Taylor's repertoire. Label-mate Rufus Thomas said of Taylor in his introduction: "When you speak of blues, this is a man who knows 'em from the letter A to the letter Z."

 
Taylor recorded eight straight Top 10 R&B hits, though by 1971 he had been eclipsed by Isaac Hayes and the Staple Singers as the label's top hitmakers. Eventually he moved from Stax to Columbia, where he enjoyed one more big hit, "Disco Lady," before winding down his recording career at Malaco with steady work on the Chitlin' Circuit.

 
staxWhile this recording found Taylor was at the peak of his faculties, his band unfortunately was not in such top form. The musicians messed up again and again — not so much that the audience really noticed, though Taylor did chastise them from time to time. The flaws and the way Taylor handled them without interrupting the flow make for fascinating — and ultimately satisfying — listening. The Arkansas-born vocalist considered himself "a salesman of songs," and he wasn't about to allow adverse circumstances to prevent him from driving home the messages of six of his biggest hits (including two very different versions of "Steal Away") and extended treatments of the blues songs "Little Bluebird" and "Hello Sundown." Six of the nine performances on the reissue, which was produced by Stuart Kremsky, are entirely new to disc.

 
Concord Music Group, which acquired the legendary Memphis label as part of its purchase of Fantasy Records in 2004, will also honor Stax's 50th year by releasing definitive collections, rare performances, unreleased tracks and more from the Memphis R&B imprint in deluxe new packages. Plans for digital releases, remixes and other projects are also in the works; the anniversary year's releases are slated to include more than 20 CDs and DVDs.

 
In addition, Concord Music Group will reactivate Stax this year as a dynamic new force in contemporary R&B music committed to the continuing the legacy of the original legendary label. The first new Stax signings are Isaac Hayes, Angie Stone and Soulive.

Adrienne Young's New CD Streets On May 22nd

Adrienne Young- for the Grateful Web

Nashville-based singer-songwriter Adrienne Young is such an ardent supporter of sustainable agriculture that she bundled seed packets into the liner notes of her Grammy-nominated first album. But it's her third release, the forthcoming Room to Grow - due out May 22, 2007 on her own AddieBelle Records and distributed by Ryko Distribution - that she feels will bear the most significant fruits of her labor. Young has integrated a national responsible-farming awareness campaign and fund-raising effort into the release of Room to Grow, a perfect marriage between her convictions and her talent.

 
Recorded in upstate New York at Levon Helm's studio, in Virginia at Sound of Music Studios and mixed by Jason Lenning in Nashville, Room to Grow reveals the maturation and sensitivity that have evolved in Young's songwriting and vocals. The album features guest appearances by legendary bassist Mike Gordon (Phish, Leo Kottke & Mike Gordon), Gordon Stone (Phish, Gordon Stone Trio), long-time collaborator and Nashville heavyweight Will Kimbrough, guest vocals by bluegrass siren Dale Ann Bradley, and co-writes with Mark D. Sanders, one of Music Row's most successful tunesmiths (No. 1 songs for George Strait, Lee Ann Womack, Alan Jackson and others).

 
Branching out from the themes that defined her last effort, 2005's The Art of Virtue - a study and exploration of Benjamin Franklin's 13 Virtues - Room to Grow is more introspective in its focus but wider in its aim. As in the past, Young tackles heady subjects - longing, regret, fear, desire, contentment, purpose - but manages to artfully sidestep the melodrama, extending instead a rational but hopeful approach to the pilgrimage of life.

 
"It's such a rare place to be, where you're reduced to wagering everything on the pertinence of your perspective," Young shares. "Deciding to produce this record on my own forced me to confront many qualities within myself that have served both as hindrances and strengths. It was not necessarily my intent that those struggles be apparent in the songs themselves, but expression that touches people requires the revelation of truth. I feel this album has the potential to both inspire and challenge simultaneously and am so grateful we had the chance to make it."

 
ayYoung, together with the Food Routes Network (www.foodroutes.org), which she has represented nationally since 2004, have formed an alliance with the American Community Garden Association (www.acga.org). Working with these national non-profits based in Philadelphia and Boston, Young will donate a portion of every record sold to a newly established fund. Proceeds will support local farming efforts in a variety of ways, from supplying non-GMO organic seeds to community gardens, to assisting progressive agricultural entrepreneurs.

 
FoodRoutes executive director Tim Schiltzer is excited about the partnership and feels confident that Young continues to be the appropriate national figure for the organization's mission. "We are very fortunate to have the energy and commitment to our cause from someone as special as Adrienne," Schlitzer says. "FoodRoutes' mission is to revitalize local food systems all over the United States. We do this by working to connect family farms and local consumers together in a way that helps each other through our Buy Fresh Buy Local program. Adrienne's music is one way to introduce our mission both to farmers and the public. We could not ask for a better spokesperson who not only helps spread the word but also leads by example in her contributions to community based food systems."

 
In the fall, Young will unveil an inaugural sustainable living tour featuring eco-vendors, educational workshops on self-sufficient living practices, national live music acts as well as local artists and artisans representing the traditions specific to their region. One of Young's goals is to acquaint people with the resources available in their own backyards. "Our intention is for this tour to affirm the power inherent in tightly bound communities, by reinvigorating an awareness of and affection for local neighborhoods, cultures and economies."