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Jim Lauderdale's Reason and Rhyme: Out TODAY

Can there be too much of a good thing?  If the question’s about collaboration between American roots music hero Jim Lauderdale and legendary lyricist Robert Hunter, the answer’s an emphatic “no!”  Marking the former’s debut on the respected Sugar Hill records label, Reason And Rhyme makes a compelling case for the continued vitality of the Lauderdale—Hunter partnership—and for Lauderdale’s unique and deeply satisfying approach to bluegrass.

“This one’s back to total bluegrass,” Lauderdale says of the collaborative follow-up to 2010’s electric Patchwork River, and so it’s no surprise that it features many of the musicians involved in previous bluegrass efforts like Could We Get Any Closer (2009) and 2007’s Grammy-winning The Bluegrass Diaries.  The close-knit crew, headed up by producer and resonator guitarist Randy Kohrs, is perfectly in tune with Lauderdale’s ‘grass-with-a-twist sensibilities, and whether it’s a return buddy like bassist Jay Weaver or new colleague Mike Compton (mandolin), each player delivers mightily with the genre’s characteristic virtuosity and emotional fire.

“We started on this one last August,” Lauderdale notes, “right after I finished touring with Elvis Costello.  Robert and I have worked just about every way you can think of—writing in the same room, adding lyrics to music and music to lyrics—but whichever way we go, he’s the lyrics guy and I’m the music guy.  This time around, we wanted to keep the momentum from Patchwork River going; I started sending him melodies, and ten days later we had 18 songs to choose from.”
The collaboration began over a decade ago, when Lauderdale was preparing for his first joint project with bluegrass patriarch Ralph Stanley, and quickly bore fruit, with more than 30 songs written before the first all-collaborative album, Headed For The Hills (2004).  “I’m not surprised, but I’m always blown away how creative he is lyrically,” says the singer/songwriter, who’s busy enough that finding time to record has always been among his greatest challenges.
With 11 fresh takes on the bluegrass sound that he’s loved since he was a teenager, this latest effort presents Jim Lauderdale at his most relaxed and rooted—and with the help of one of American music’s greatest lyricists, it’s a set that offers not only deep musicality, but deep meaning and vision.  Reason And Rhyme—it’s just the right name for just the right music.
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Jim Lauderdale 2011 Tour Dates

2011-06-22           Nashville, TN - Music City Roots
2011-06-24           Nashville, TN - Station Inn
2011-06-27           New York, NY - The Living Room
2011-07-22           Trumansburg, NY - Grassroots Festival
2011-07-24           Washington, DC - Hill Country
2011-07-26           Abindgon, VA - Virginia Highlands Community College
2011-08-06           Casper, WY - Beartrap Summer Festival
2011-08-08           Helena, MT - Myrna Loy Center
2011-08-10           Boise, ID - Alive After Five
2011-08-11           Snowmass Village, CO - Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Series
2011-08-13           Alta, WY - Targhee Music Festival
2011-09-06           The Woodlands, TX - Real Life - Real Music @ Dosey Doe
2011-09-17           Bristol, TN - Bristol's Rhythm and Roots Reunion
2011-10-06           Richmond, VA - Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
2011-10-07           Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel - with the Blind Boys of Alabama
2011-10-13           Nashville, TN - Americana Music Conference

2011-10-21           North Bethesda, MD - Strathmore

Jim Lauderdale to Release Reason & Rhyme

Can there be too much of a good thing?  If the question’s about collaboration between American roots music hero Jim Lauderdale and legendary lyricist Robert Hunter, the answer’s an emphatic “no!”  Marking the former’s debut on the respected Sugar Hill records label, Reason And Rhyme makes a compelling case for the continued vitality of the Lauderdale—Hunter partnership—and for Lauderdale’s unique and deeply satisfying approach to bluegrass.

“This one’s back to total bluegrass,” Lauderdale says of the collaborative follow-up to 2010’s electric Patchwork River, and so it’s no surprise that it features many of the musicians involved in previous bluegrass efforts like Could We Get Any Closer (2009) and 2007’s Grammy-winning The Bluegrass Diaries.  The close-knit crew, headed up by producer and resonator guitarist Randy Kohrs, is perfectly in tune with Lauderdale’s ‘grass-with-a-twist' sensibilities, and whether it’s a return buddy like bassist Jay Weaver or new colleague Mike Compton (mandolin), each player delivers mightily with the genre’s characteristic virtuosity and emotional fire.

“We started on this one last August,” Lauderdale notes, “right after I finished touring with Elvis Costello.  Robert and I have worked just about every way you can think of—writing in the same room, adding lyrics to music and music to lyrics—but whichever way we go, he’s the lyrics guy and I’m the music guy.  This time around, we wanted to keep the momentum from Patchwork River going; I started sending him melodies, and ten days later we had 18 songs to choose from.”
The collaboration began over a decade ago, when Lauderdale was preparing for his first joint project with bluegrass patriarch Ralph Stanley, and quickly bore fruit, with more than 30 songs written before the first all-collaborative album, Headed For The Hills (2004).  “I’m not surprised, but I’m always blown away how creative he is lyrically,” says the singer/songwriter, who’s busy enough that finding time to record has always been among his greatest challenges.
With 11 fresh takes on the bluegrass sound that he’s loved since he was a teenager, this latest effort presents Jim Lauderdale at his most relaxed and rooted—and with the help of one of American music’s greatest lyricists, it’s a set that offers not only deep musicality, but deep meaning and vision.  Reason And Rhyme—it’s just the right name for just the right music.

Former MMJ Guitarist Johnny Quaid is The Ravenna Colt

After conceiving the project over a decade ago, former My Morning Jacket guitarist Johnny Quaid is finally releasing the dreamlike, southern-flavored debut effort by The Ravenna Colt. The album, titled, Slight Spell, is now available through Removador Recordings and Solutions, the label Quaid recently co-founded with MMJ frontman Yim Yames.

After six years as a part of MMJ, Louisville, KY native Quaid parted amicably with the band in 2004 and headed off to California.  Eventually Quaid headed back east and reacquainting himself with his roots.  Fittingly, the music he has written as The Ravenna Colt reflects his style in Americana with a hint of cosmic breeze that emanates from California.

Opening track “South of Ohio,’ points to this when Quaid wonders “I lost my drawl in California / was there ever one at all?”  He reveals himself to be an individual who meditates on the deep connection he has with his hometown as well as one interested in venturing outward for new experiences.

The Ravenna Colt currently includes Phil Carlson, J. Brent Stuart and Daniel T. Mohler as members, but the group has always been a shape-shifting entity with the only constant force being Quaid at the helm.  This collective-like quality translates to the music as well, which has beautifully amorphous feel.  The songs on Slight Spell have definitive cores, but ones that seem capable of adapting to various musicians and arrangements. Quaid has the soul of a troubadour.  One can picture him with nothing but an acoustic guitar strapped to his back, traveling from town to town to share his music and his adventures.

Yellowstone Buffalo Headed to Slaughterhouse. Act Now!

Stop the slaughter!- for the Grateful Web

Yellowstone's wild, free-roaming buffalo herd is under siege.

The Bush Administration is turning America's greatest national park into a killing ground for hundreds of mighty bison - better known as American buffalo.

We must speak out against this cold-blooded cruelty NOW - because every week, more of these noble creatures are being herded into cattle trucks to be slaughtered:

This winter alone, more than 1,000 wild bison have been brutally killed by the National Park Service and the Montana Department of Livestock - or shipped to slaughterhouses.

And come May, newborn calves are just as likely to be killed as their mothers.

We cannot stand by and let this massacre continue: Send a protest message now.

Right now, it's still winter in Yellowstone, and these unsuspecting buffalo are following historic migratory routes in search of food at lower elevations where there is less snow.

When the buffalo venture near or beyond the park's boundary, they will continue to be rounded up and killed - unless we start a national outcry:

What makes this sacrifice so senseless is that it's all to protect 12 to 16 domestic cows and steers that graze near the park from the theoretical risk of a disease - brucellosis - that has never been transmitted from bison to cattle in a natural setting.

Yes, you read those numbers right: 1,000 wild bison slaughtered to protect a little more than a dozen cows outside the park that have most likely been vaccinated against the disease, or easily could be.

Please speak out and stop the slaughter.

Yellowstone's buffalo are a national treasure: America's last, free-roaming herd. The National Park Service should be their guardian, not their executioner.

Our goal this week is to create a virtual "stampede" of 50,000 protest messages that will convince the National Park Service to call a halt to the killing.

Together, we must speak out to spare the lives of Yellowstone's surviving buffalo so that they can again roam wild and free...

Toubab Krewe Headed to Vegoose

- for the Grateful Web

Toubab Krewe's Fall Tour will include a performance at the Vegoose festival in Las Vegas, NV on October 28th, 2006 at 11:30 am. The show will be webcast live on the AT&T blue room and will feature very special guest Lamine Soumano, who is joining Toubab Krewe from Mali for his first tour of the U. S. The tour continues with a Halloween show in New York City at the Mercury Lounge as part of the CMJ Music Marathon and dates through out the East Coast.

Blending Malian, American and "Dirty South" influences into a sound all its own, Toubab Krewe continues to build off the momentum of an incredible tour in support of its self-titled debut album, which was produced by Grammy winning producer Steven Heller and released in June on Upstream Records. Highlights have included performances at the Bonnaroo, LEAF, Joshua Tree, Strawberry, Oregon Country Fair, Sierra Nevada, High Sierra, Floyd, Northeast Kingdom, Chicago World Music, moe.Down, Hatch and Magnolia music festivals.

Members of Toubab Krewe first met Soumano on a trip to Ivory Coast in 2001. A phenomenal multi-instrumentalist (guitar, kora, ngoni) in the West African griot tradition, he's become a close musical mentor and friend. He's recorded and performed extensively throughout West Africa and Europe, and Toubab Krewe is thrilled to welcome him on his first trip to the U.S.