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Teddy Charles All Stars 'Word From Bird' at The Iridium

Teddy Charles- for the Grateful Web

Teddy Charles is considered to be one of the great jazz vibraphonists and composers of all time, playing with such jazz legends as Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. As a student at Julliard in the mid 40s, he haunted New York's jazz clubs, occasionally sitting in with the bands on vibes or piano. His break came unexpectedly one night when he was asked to sit in on piano with Coleman Hawkin's band for the overdue Thelonious Monk. Soon after, Charles began to appear regularly with the top jazz groups of the day, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Buddy De Franco, playing alongside and writing for such jazz stars as Coltrane, Parker, Max Roach and Miles Davis. Recently appeared with Max Roach, David Amram, Lee Konitz. In the early 1950s he began leading his own groups, composing, producing and recording original works such as No More Nights, Blues Become Elektra and Word from Bird.

Teddy Charles All Stars "Word From Bird" - March 19-22, 2009 at the Iridium Jazz Club

IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB
1650 BROADWAY (Corner of 51st)
NEW YORK, NY 10023
RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121
Sets At 8:30 & 10:30PM

Listen to the first single from Umphrey's McGee's MANTIS

photos by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

Umphrey's McGee's single "Made to Measure," from their forthcoming studio album Mantis (street date: January 20, 2009), was just released.

Listen now here.

Chicago's Umphrey's McGee enters its second decade together with their hardest, darkest, and most artistically cohesive album to date. The new album hits streets on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009, when Mantis casts another Windy City family into the limelight. Over 2 years in the making, Mantis pushes the envelope in composition, arrangement and group interplay.  In an Umphrey's McGee first, the album offers 100% new material  - a drastic change of pace for a band whose typical modus operandi is to work out the material live on-stage before recording studio versions.

In addition to a one-of-a kind pre-order campaign where fans can participate in "unlocking exclusive bonus material, Mantis incorporates PUSH(TM) technology by Digital Insert to deliver new content throughout 2009.  PUSH requires no software installation or serial number; by simply putting the Mantis CD in your CD-ROM drive, the disc will act as a "key" to an Umphreys.com micro-site where fans get access to exclusive 2009 content as it becomes available.

Umphrey's McGee is preparing for their always-epic New Year's eve run in Chicago.  This year at the Auditorium Theatre, the band will be joined on stage by musical icons Buddy Guy, Stanley Jordan, Joshua Redman, Jeff Coffin, and Koko Taylor.  Previous guests who've shared the stage with Umphrey's include Tortoise, Taj Mahal, The Wailers, Los Lobos and many more.

Message from Merl Saunders' family

Merl Saunders - (2.14.34 - 10.24.08)- for the Grateful Web

Merl Saunders stood for music and love – his smile alone told you that.  We loved him very much – and we know that you, his fans, did too.  Sad as we are to lose him, we're very aware of being comforted by the affection coming from all those touched by that smile and that wonderful music.  He was a special man, a beautiful companion, father, grandfather, and family patriarch, and the proof of that spirit is in the way you've reached out to us at his passing.  From our hearts, thank you.  And we know Merl thanks you too.   

Keep on keepin' on, The Saunders Family

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, October 29th, at 11 am at First AME Zion Church, 2159 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco.  

In lieu of flowers, we request that donations be made to either the Rainforest Action Network or the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic.

Debut Album From Joey+Rory Streets October 28th

Joey + Rory- for the Grateful Web

Joey+Rory, along with Grammy-award winning producer Carl Jackson, have put the finishing touches on their debut album, The Life Of A Song, to be released by Vanguard/Sugar Hill Records on October 28th.  Having produced such greats as Alison Krauss and Merle Haggard, Jackson proved the perfect choice to help husband and wife team Rory Feek and Joey Martin create a traditional country album, seasoned with acoustic elements and equal doses of humor and sincerity.

 

"Working with Joey+Rory is a total joy for me," states Jackson.  "They are the real deal, not an act simply called 'country' whose music contradicts that label.  What makes it even more special is that I believe the only thing they love more than a great country song is each other."

 

Joey+Rory are nothing if not authentic; The Life Of A Song might be listened to as a soundtrack to their simple country lifestyle.  The couple resides in an 1870's farmhouse in tiny Hardison Mill, TN, where Joey helps run a nearby family restaurant called Marcy Jo's Mealhouse.  Perfectly in their element, Joey+Rory sing of scuffed cowboy boots ("Boots"), dusty rodeo arenas ("Rodeo"), and cherished vinyl records ("Sweet Emmylou").  They beg the listener to sing or dance along (the brash and buoyant "Cheater Cheater") before hushing the room with the lovely austerity of "Heart of the Wood."  Even the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic "Free Bird" is putty reinvented in the hands of this pair, as adventurous as they are respectful of country music's roots.

 

Together, the couple contributed their songwriting talents to seven of the album's 12 tracks, including the lead single, "Cheater Cheater."  Already an established songwriter and founding partner of Nashville publishing company Giantslayer Music, Rory has three #1 hits to his credit (Blake Shelton's "Some Beach", Clay Walker's "The Chain of Love" and Collin Raye's "Someone You Used To Know"), and has had cuts by Kenny Chesney, Randy Travis, Terri Clark, Mark Wills, Reba McEntire, Waylon Jennings, Lorrie Morgan, Buck Owens, John Michael Montgomery and Charlie Pride, among others.

 

Joey, who performs lead vocals for the duo, is also a veteran recording artist (previously signed to Sony Records, her debut album and single were never released). The pair only started performing as a duo for the audition of CMT's hit series Can You Duet in early 2008.  The pairing proved to be a hit with thousands of fans as well as Naomi Judd, one of the show's judges and Joey+Rory's most fervent supporter.  CMT is now home to Joey+Rory's debut video for "Cheater Cheater," currently in medium rotation.

"Live From Abbey Road" airs this Thursday

Ben Harper & the Criminals- for the Grateful Web

Watch Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals perform in the legendary Abbey Road Studios this Thursday, August 28th on the Sundance Channel at 10PM ET/PT.

Watch an exclusive interview with Ben at http://www.sundancechannel.com/livefromabbeyroad/

The program will air in the UK on Channel 4 on Sept 12th and 13th.  More international broadcast dates forthcoming at www.benharper.net.

Visit the Tour Archive at http://www.benharper.net for the setlist, photos and reviews!

Sugar Hill Years: Americana Master Compilations from Doc Watson & Ricky Skaggs

Doc Watson- for the Grateful Web

Sugar Hill is set to release two new titles as part of their Americana Master Series.  Ricky Skaggs: Best of the Sugar Hill Years and Doc Watson: Best of the Sugar Hill Years will both hit the streets on July 8th, 2008.  Researched and compiled from each artist's body of work on the label, these tracks were culled from radio chart toppers, fan mail, downloads, and songs and tunes that are recurrent favorites at live performances.

Doc Watson
Doc Watson has been an iconic influence on every acoustic guitar player that has come in his wake. A recipient of the National Heritage Award and the National Medal of Arts, Watson's contribution to the American folk idiom is immeasurable. For the Americana Master Series, Watson's Sugar Hill releases - which span over 40 years from 1960 through 2006 - were meticulously combed for the best representation of both the virtuosity that embodies his work, as well as its breadth.

From bluegrass selections that exemplify the flat-picking that has become Watson's calling card to gospel and traditional tunes featuring his soulful vocals, the collection draws upon solo work as well as duets with son Merle and collaborations with Bryan Sutton and Marty Stuart. Also included are tunes featuring the guitarist on banjo and slide guitar, demonstrating the icon's virtuosity and deep connection to Appalachian roots music.

Ricky Skaggs
By the time Ricky Skaggs launched his solo career on Sugar Hill in 1979, he'd already amassed a resume that most retirees would envy. He'd been a member of Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys and the legendary Country Gentlemen. He'd made vital recordings with his friend and collaborator Keith Whitley. He'd been in Emmylou Harris's Hot Band, and he'd been part of the pioneering neo-bluegrass band Boone Creek, whose album One Way Track had in fact been Sugar Hill's first release as a label.

For all he did to bring roots to country, this collection is basted in bluegrass, a hand-picked anthology of the hand-picked music of Skaggs in his early years. Classics like "I'll Stay Around" and "Little Cabin Home On The Hill" from Sweet Temptation show an artist who had internalized the sound and tone of the founding fathers, while Tony Rice's guitar solos introduce overtones of innovation.  With the string of Grammy-winning.

From NY to B-Town, Super 400 tears it up in Boulder, CO

True to the classic spirit of Rock and Roll, and a hard hitting member of the so-called rock revival movement, Super 400 have rediscovered the beauty and simplicity of the power trio.  Kenny Hohman's guitar work is at times deliciously thick and crunchy, and at others soaring and smooth, kind of like his voice.  And he's got a killer rhythm section, with Joe Daley pounding out the heavy notes on the drums while the perpetually sexy Lori Friday pounds 'em out on the bass

420 pictures from Boulder, Colorado (4.20.2008)

CU campus -- photos by Mike Moran- for the Grateful Web
- for the Grateful Web

Check out pictures and video from today's 420 smoke up on the CU campus in Boulder, Colorado.  University of Colorado police estimated that 10,000 people gathered for the annual "smoke-up" on Norlin Quad on CU's campus.  In contrast to prior years when CU police attempted to discourage the event, they were keeping it "low-key" this year, said Commander Brad Wiesley, a spokesman. "When you're outnumbered 1,000-to-1, or even 750-to-1, it's really hard to have much say over what the crowd does," Wiesley said.

Origins of 420 (from Wikipedia):

Although many diverse theories exist to explain the origin of the term, one central root of the phrase stems from a group of teenagers at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, California in 1971; the teens would meet after school at 4:20 p.m. to smoke cannabis at the Louis Pasteur statue.[3][4] The term became part of their group's salute, "420 Louis!",[5] and became popularized in the late 1980s by fans of The Grateful Dead.[6] Many North American cannabis users continue to observe 4:20 as a time to smoke communally. By extension April 20 ("4/20" in U.S. dating shorthand) has evolved into a counterculture holiday, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis.[7][8][9] In some locations this celebration coincides with Earth Week.[10][11][12]

Enjoy,

The Grateful Web

New Music from Infamous Stringdusters ~ Due Out 6/10

The Infamous Stringdusters- for the Grateful Web

When The Infamous Stringdusters comes out June 10 on Sugar Hill Records, some may assume from the title that it's a debut recording. Those already aware of the Stringdusters phenomenon will know differently: that 2007's Fork in the Road was the album that boldly introduced this daring, disciplined band to the world of bluegrass and a wider world of music enthusiasts who heard it and decided: 'if that's bluegrass, then I love bluegrass.' Fork in the Road was named Album of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association. Its title track was named Song of the Year, and the band itself earned the honor of best emerging artist in a competitive field. It was a stunning cap to an amazing 2007.

Yet The Infamous Stringdusters feels like an introduction of a sort. Whereas Fork in the Road was made during their first potent months together, the new CD represents all the band has become during two years of intense touring, meticulous woodshedding and brotherly jamming. It's their first record with accomplished guitarist Andy Falco, whose blues-infused licks and stunning virtuosity has added a new facet to the band's musical personality. It's the first with the band's dream producer Tim O'Brien, a Grammy-winning musician who has pioneered and embodied the progressive school of roots and bluegrass that underlies the Stringdusters sound. And of course it's the first with these songs - nine band originals supplemented by a few carefully chosen tunes from colleagues in the acoustic music community.

Dobroist Andy Hall's "Well, Well" captures a character in limbo between desperation and optimism. Bassist Travis Book contributed several songs, including the sentimental "Bound For Tennessee." Fiddler and singer Jeremy Garrett lends layers of lonesome to his song "When Silence is the Only Sound." Meanwhile, "Loving You" by Grammy nominated writer Sarah Siskind is a signature example of what sets the Stringdusters apart, with its off-kilter groove and dark-hued melody. The bluesy and slightly demented "Get It While You Can" was composed by Bad Livers mad genius Danny Barnes. And rippling newgrass instrumentals from the hands of mandolinist Jesse Cobb ("Golden Ticket"), banjo master Chris Pandolfi ("Glass Elevator") and Hall ("Black Rock") complement the album with flawless examples of the band's trademark instrumental virtuosity.

In their breakout year of 2007, the Infamous Stringdusters played over 150 dates, including the biggest festivals in acoustic music, jammed on major stages with heroes like David Grisman and Sam Bush, and landed a development deal for motion picture music with Lions Gate Entertainment. With the release of The Infamous Stringdusters, 2008 promises more roads and more new fans in bluegrass and beyond.

Reissues from Ben Vaughn, Jim Carroll & Wednesday Week

Jim Carroll''s ''Praying Mantis''- for the Grateful Web

Noble Rot, the label subsidiary of Collectors' Choice devoted to preserving great early indie-rock albums of the '80s and '90s, will release three new reissues on January 29: Praying Mantis bv Jim Carroll, Beautiful Thing by Ben Vaughn and What We Had by Wednesday Week. Keeping in Noble Rot's tradition, the reissues will be packaged in cardboard Digi-Paks with liner notes.

Previous Noble Rot reissues have included Robyn Hitchcock, Grant Lee Buffalo, Hunters & Collectors, The Surf Punks, Martini Ranch, Rodney Crowell's side project Cicadas, and more.
 
Wednesday Week – What We Had. Wednesday Week is a long-running Los Angeles-based band anchored by sisters Kristi and Kelly Callan, with members who have included Heidi Rodewald (later in the Negro Problem), David Nolte (The Last, Wondermints, Maria McKee, Davie Allen & the Arrows and David Gray), Dave Provost (The Droogs, Dream Syndicate), and Ilene Markell (7 Deadly 5). The Noble Rot reissue contains not only the band's 1987 complete Don Dixon-produced album What We Had (originally on Enigma), but TEN bonus tracks including the complete 1983 EP Betsy's House on WarFrat Records, plus five more songs from the band's archives. These include an alternate version of "You Wanted Me to Hang Around"; the previously unreleased "All So Clear," from an obscure Midnight Records holiday compilation; the fan club single "Leopard"; and the title track of 1990's No Going Back album on the Swedish Spins label. Liner notes are by Los Angeles Times TV critic and Wednesday Week fan/friend Robert Lloyd.
 
Ben Vaughn – Beautiful Thing. Vaughn is a rock 'n 'roll renaissance man — a artist and songwriter, producer (Arthur Alexander's acclaimed Lonely Just Like Me, Charlie Feathers), and prolific TV score-smith ( Third Rock from the Sun, That '70s Show and Grounded for Life.) The Jersey/Philly boy put himself on the map with the 1986 album The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn and followed up with this 1987 album, Beautiful Thing, cut in a New Jersey garage and originally issued on Restless Records. The album contains such tracks as "She's a Real Scream" (with the infamous line "Her end justifies the means"), the Gary Usher-like surf sound of "Desert Boots," "Jerry Lewis in France, " Clothes Don't Make The Man," "Beautiful Thing, "The North Wind Blew," "Shingaling with Me" and "Gimme Gimme Gimme.". A nearly forgotten classic, reissued with liner notes by pop scholar Gene Sculatti and quotes from Vaughn himself.
 
Jim Carroll – Praying Mantis. Those familiar only with the hit "People Who Died" may not realize that Jim Carroll, like Patti Smith and Tom Verlaine, first started performing as a poet in the Lower East Side scene. This 1991 album, originally issued on Giant, takes us to the heart of that scene, St. Mark's Church on the Bowery, for a series of poems and semi-improvised comic monologues taken from Carroll's collections. Included are pieces from several collections: "Living at the Movies" (1973), "The Book of Nods" (1986) and "Forced Entries" (1987) as well as a 14-minute improvised rant titled "The Loss of American Innocence." In other words, something of a greatest hits poetry collection. Liner note writer Kim Cooper, a pop culture writer and blogger, describes his performance as "requiring intense attention that rewards with humor and flashes of subtle, elegant observation." The album, she notes, "struck a confident note of a nimble artist reinventing himself."