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Jason Aldean Scores 3rd Consecutive #1 with "Dirt Road Anthem!"

Country rocker Jason Aldean scores his seventh No. one song as “Dirt Road Anthem” drives into the top slot on the Billboard Country Songs chart this week.  The third consecutive PLATINUM release off Country’s best-selling album of 2011, MY KINDA PARTY, the track also tops the Country Digital Singles Chart again this week with over 1.3 million singles sold to date.

"We definitely knew when we recorded this song, we'd turn some heads.  Thankfully, when they turned, they also started nodding along," laughs Aldean.  "It's been a great song to play live and also to be able to do some experimenting with for tv performances and things like that.  I love being able to put out a big ballad like our duet with Kelly and come back with something a little different the next time.   I don't want anyone to ever think they've got me figured out exactly!"

Simultaneously, Aldean's duet with pop powerhouse Kelly Clarkson "Don't You Wanna Stay" continues to climb the AC, Hot AC and Top 40 charts.  Both songs follow the success of the lead single "My Kinda Party," making this the third consecutive No. one hit from Aldean's fourth studio effort.

Aldean spent this last week in Phoenix at the Major League Baseball's All Star Week, where he played in the Celebrity and Legends softball game and performed on ESPN's broadcast of the 2011 Homerun Derby.  He is also featured this month in ESPN magazine's celebrity series "Fans Like Us" with Justin Timberlake, John Legend and more.  Click here to see behind the scenes of the photo shoot with Aldean and Kenny Mayne:

Aldean's MY KINDA PARTY TOUR continues to crisscross the country selling out the nation's biggest amphitheaters with openers Chris Young and Thompson Square.  For more information and a full list of tour dates, visit www.jasonaldean.com.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Celebrates First Gold Digital Certification

Over two decades after its release, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s (NGDB) No. 1 hit single “Fishin’ in the Dark” is still setting records.  The classic song has been certified GOLD by the RIAA for digital sales of over 500,000 copies.  “Fishin’ in the Dark” was a monster hit for NGDB dominating the No. 1 spot on the country charts in both the US and Canada in 1987.  It was first released digitally in 2009.

“’Fishin’ in the Dark’ seems to have a life of its own and has certainly become a signature song for us over the years,” said band member Jeff Hanna. “We love that this song has become a summer anthem and continues to appeal to new audiences year after year.”

Often cited as a catalyst for an entire movement in Country Rock and American Roots Music, NGDB continues to add to their already legendary status.  With multi-platinum and gold records, a string of top ten hits, multiple Grammy, CMA, ACM and IBMA Awards and nominations, and now a GOLD Digital Certification, the band's accolades continue to accumulate. Showing no signs of slowing down, NGDB is currently on an extensive North American Tour.  The band is celebrating another HUGE milestone this year, over four decades of touring and making music!

NGDB is currently on the road in support of their most recent release, the critically acclaimed album Speed of Life (2009, Sugar Hill Records). For a full list of tour dates, visit www.nittygritty.com.

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Tour Dates:

05/07/2011 - Fort Yates, ND - Prairie Knights Casino & Resort
06/03/2011 - Scottown, OH - Appalachian Uprising Bluegrass

06/04/2011 - Kent, OH - The Kent Stage

06/16/2011 - Kettering, OH - Fraze Pavilion for the Performing Arts

06/17/2011 - Louisville, KY - Kentucky Country Day School Theater
06/18/2011 - Springfield, MO - Show Me Music Festival
06/19/2011 - Littleton, CO - Hudson Gardens and Event Center
06/24/2011 - Manhattan, KS - The Country Stampede Tuttle Creek State Park

06/25/2011 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
06/26/2011 - Laytonville, CA - Kate Wolf Memorial Music

07/03/2011 - Mountain View, AR - Ozark Folk Center

07/08/2011 - Huntley, MT - Huntley Homesteader Days Festival

07/09/2011 - Libby, MT - CARD Summer Concert

07/24/2011 - Twin Lakes, WI - Country Thunder USA

07/27/2011 - Minot, ND - North Dakota State Fair

07/30/2011 - Sweet Home, OR - Oregon Jamboree

Kinky Friedman embarks on "Springtime for Kinky Tour 2011"

This spring, starting April 27th in Kansas City, Missouri, Kinky Friedman, author, musician, politician, and self-proclaimed Governor of the Heart of Texas, will be performing dates throughout the Midwest and East Coast as part of his Springtime for Kinky Tour of 2011. Often returning to places he has not visited in two decades, the Kinkster will appear solo (primarily) and promote his most recent books, What Would Kinky Do? and Heroes of a Texas Childhood. There will be a book signing at each venue.

Buoyed by his Go West Young Kinky Tour last spring and his monster appearance on the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in October, Kinky will take his show to many of his favorite American cities. Playing the songs for which he is best known, such as “They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore” and “Sold American,” reading passages from his books, and carrying on his hilarious running commentary on the state of the union, Kinky, the prodigal son of Texas, will, indeed, return to the scenes of his crimes of years gone by.

Though years have passed since the last full-on Texas Jewboys show, Kinky continues to be associated with that infamous band of his early career, partly because of his long friendship with Bob Dylan (Kinky did, of course, travel with the Rolling Thunder Revue), but mostly because of the band’s total outrageousness and those legendary songs. On the projects list for 2011 is a Willie Nelson CD of Kinky's songs, which will be no less than the third tribute album to Kinky and his work. Willie, who has a new Sony record deal, and who has been swapping stories and playing chess with Kinky for decades, will confirm these tunes as American standards.

Meanwhile, Kinky continues to “spit out books like sunflower seeds,” with a brand new deal to co-write one with old pal Billy Bob Thornton. And he is now being immortalized onstage with a play called Becoming Kinky . . . The World According to Kinky Friedman, written by Ted Swindley, who created the long-running hit Always . . . Patsy Cline, and starring up-and-comer Jesse Dayton.

Kinky may be finished with politics, but politics may not be finished with Kinky.  He continues to be a popular guest on cable news channels, appearing with hosts as diverse as John Seigenthaler and Bill O’Reilly, and his regular contributions to Texas Monthly never fail to take proper shots at the insanity of Texas politics.  He also contributes to such national media as The New York Times and Playboy, more often than not skewing deserving politicians wherever they may be.

And that’s not all in 2011: an Australian tour is on the agenda for June. Kinky will be joined by long-time Brian Wilson collaborator Van Dyke Parks, as the two old friends visit Kinky's second favorite continent. But in the meantime . . .

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Springtime for Kinky Tour 2011

Wed., April 27  KANSAS CITY, MO Knuckleheads
Thurs., April 28  LITTLE ROCK, AR Juanita's
Fri., April 29  ST. LOUIS, MO Off Broadway
Sat., April 30  OKLAHOMA CITY, OK The Blue Door
Sun., May 1  NEWPORT, KY (CINCINNATI, OH) Southgate House
Mon., May 2  NASHVILLE, TN 3rd and Lindsley
Tues., May 3  CLEVELAND, OH Wilbert's
Thurs., May 5  MILWAUKEE, WI Shank Hall
Sat., May 7  BERWYN (CHICAGO), IL Fitzgerald's
Sun., May 8  PHILADELPHIA, PA World Cafe Live
Mon., May 9  NEW YORK, NY Highline Theater
Tues., May 10  ROCHESTER, NY Water Street
Fri., May 13  ALEXANDRIA, VA (WASHINGTON, DC) Birchmere
Sat., May 14  WOODSTOCK, NY Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble

ARCHNEMESIS ANNOUNCES 2011 WINTER TOUR

Asheville, North Carolina-Fresh off a New Years’ run that included shows in New York City, Denver, New Orleans, and a blowout New Years’ Eve extravaganza in Dallas at “Lights all Night” with Ghostland Observatory and Two Fresh, Archnemesis has announced their 2011 Winter Tour dates. Coming off a headlining run through the South, Archnemesis takes their act to Colorado with Kraddy. The tour then continues with Kraddy through the Midwest with stops in Nebraska, Minnesota, and Wisconsin before teaming up with Signal Path for a show in Chicago, IL. After a headlining show in Louisville, KY, Archnemesis will head to the Northeast to play five dates with Conspirator.  From there, they again team up with Kraddy to finish out the last week of the tour. The 23 show tour concludes February, 26th at New Earth Music Hall in Athens, GA.

Formed as the musical brainchild of Curt Heiny and Justin Aubuchon (Telepath, MO Theory), Archnemesis creates its distinctive sound by combining original music with samples ranging from early 20’s blues and jazz to modern hip-hop and soul. With their first EP "Diamonds and Glass" available now for free download at www.archnemesismusic.com and their debut full-length album slated for an April 1st release, Archnemesis continues to turn heads at festivals and club shows while elevating the standard for modern electronic music.

For complete tour details and info please visit www.archnemesismusic.com.

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ARCHNEMESIS 2011 WINTER TOUR DATES:

2.03.10- Fort Collins, CO                    Aggie Theatre w/ Kraddy

2.04.10- Denver, CO                          Cervantes w/ Bluetech and Kilowatts

2.05.10- Boulder, CO                          Fox Theatre w/ Kraddy

2.06.10- Lincoln, NE                           Bourbon Theatre w/ Kraddy

2.09.10- Minneapolis, MN                    The Loft @ Barfly w/ Kraddy

2.10.10- Milwaukee, WI                       Miramar Theatre w/ Kraddy

2.11.10- Chicago, IL                            Double Door w/ Signal Path

2.12.10- Louisville, KY                        Club 21

2.16.10- Providence, RI                      The Met w/ Conspirator

2.17.10- Portland, ME                         Port City Music Hall w/ Conspirator

2.18.10- Burlington, VT                       Higher Ground w/ Conspirator

2.19.10- Asbury Park, NJ                    Stone Pony w/ Conspirator

2.20.10- West Chester, PA                The Note w/ Conspirator

2.22.10- Raleigh, NC                          Lincoln Theatre w/ Kraddy

2.23.10- Charleston, SC                     Pour House w/ Kraddy

2.24.10- Knoxville, TN             New Amsterdam w/ Kraddy

2.25.10- Nashville, TN             Exit-In w/ Kraddy

2.26.10- Athens, GA                            New Earth Music Hall w/ Kraddy

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Jan. 24 - Jan. 30, 2011

Upcoming events at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem for this week include:

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Christian McBride Hosts: My Musical Heroes
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
Christian’s Subject: Motown—The Jazz Singers

Our Co-Director, the brilliant bassist/composer/bandleader Christian McBride continues his insightful series on his musical heroes. This evening’s program will shed light on some music usually not included in a jazz context, and that’s a shame. As quiet as it’s kept, many of the instrumentalists and vocalists central to the Motown Sound were immersed in the jazz idiom. One of the singers you’ll hear tonight is Marvin Gaye, singing jazz ballad standards! If you like to expand your horizons, please join us.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Harlem Speaks
Tommy LiPuma, Producer

Interview by Christian McBride
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

One of the music industry’s most innovative and uniquely creative forces for more than four decades, Verve Music Group Chairman Emeritus Tommy LiPuma’s legendary career is record business history in the making. With 29 gold and platinum records to his credit, more than 30 GRAMMY® nominations, and three GRAMMY® Awards, he is one of the most successful pop and jazz producers ever.

By choosing to transition into the position of Chairman Emeritus in 2004, LiPuma decided to spend more time in the studio, and the very essence of what has driven him to be one of the most sought-out producers in the business – his keen musical insight and pristine sensibilities. “I can’t always put my finger on why I know something will work. It’s more the chills factor I look for — honing in on that artist whose music reaches inside you and takes you somewhere. There’s no scientific formula for hitting the mark, but that’s part of the excitement and challenge for me.”

One of the greatest success stories of LiPuma’s career is Diana Krall, with whom he continues a close association.

LiPuma began his first stint with Warner Bros. in 1974 as a staff A&R producer, helping launch the label careers of George Benson, Al Jarreau, and Michael Franks and recorded albums with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto, and Claus Ogerman. After a brief time back at A&M in 1978, where LiPuma led the newly formed Horizon Records, working with Brenda Russell, Seawind, Dr. John (for whom he later produced the duet “In A Sentimental Mood” with Rickie Lee Jones), and David Grisman, he returned to Warner Bros. as Vice President, Jazz and Progressive Music. As producer and talent scout, he worked with the artists who made Warner Jazz one of the most successful jazz labels in the industry: Randy Crawford, Patti Austin, Bob James, David Sanborn, Earl Klugh, Everything But the Girl, The Yellowjackets, Joe Sample, and the late Miles Davis.

In 1990, LiPuma joined Elektra Records as Senior Vice President, A&R, rejoining his old partner Krasnow, who was label Chairman. While at Elektra, he produced Natalie Cole and Anita Baker, and brought Sanborn, The Story, and Wayne Shorter to the label. His work on Cole’s breakthrough album Unforgettable (which was produced by LiPuma, Andre Fischer, and David Foster) earned LiPuma a share of the 1991 GRAMMY® for Album of the Year. He also produced Cole’s platinum follow-up, Take a Look, as well as her 2002 Verve Records debut, Ask A Woman Who Knows.

B.B. King with Hazel Miller Trio @ Boulder Theater

His reign as King of the Blues has been as long as that of any monarch on earth. Yet B.B. King continues to wear his crown well. At age 76, he is still light on his feet, singing and playing the blues with relentless passion. Time has no apparent effect on B.B., other than to make him more popular, more cherished, more relevant than ever. Don't look for him in some kind of semi-retirement; look for him out on the road, playing for people, popping up in a myriad of T.V. commercials, or laying down tracks for his next album. B.B. King is as alive as the music he plays, and a grateful world can't get enough of him.

For more than half a century, Riley B. King - better known as B.B. King - has defined the blues for a worldwide audience. Since he started recording in the 1940s, he has released over fifty albums, many of them classics. Over the years, B.B. has developed one of the world's most identifiable guitar styles. He borrowed from Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker and others, integrating his precise and complex vocal-like string bends and his left hand vibrato, both of which have become indispensable components of rock guitarist's vocabulary. His economy, his every-note-counts phrasing, has been a model for thousands of players, from Eric Clapton and George Harrison to Jeff Beck. B.B. has mixed traditional blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound. In B.B.'s words, "When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille."

B.B. continues to tour extensively, averaging over 250 concerts per year around the world. Classics such as "Payin' The Cost To Be The Boss," "The Thrill Is Gone," How Blue Can You Get," "Everyday I Have The Blues," and "Why I Sing The Blues" are concert (and fan) staples. Over the years, the Grammy Award-winner has had two #1 R&B hits, 1951's "Three O'Clock Blues," and 1952's "You Don't Know Me," and four #2 R&B hits, 1953's "Please Love Me," 1954's "You Upset Me Baby," 1960's "Sweet Sixteen, Part I," and 1966's "Don't Answer The Door, Part I." B.B.'s most popular crossover hit, 1970's "The Thrill Is Gone," went to #15 pop.

More Info / Buy Tickets

Legendary Soul Singer Bonnie Bramlett Joins Lubriphonic On Stage

A cosmic meet up of musical powers joined forces in Macon, Georgia Wednesday night. Legendary soul singer Bonnie Bramlett (of Delaney & Bonnie, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills), in town to record with Little Richard, stopped by the Cox Capitol Theatre joining the Chicago funk and soul outfit Lubriphonic on stage for a scorching version of “Whatever You Do Don’t Stop.” Bonnie offered her trademark vocal howls and scat singing while encouraging the Lube horn and rhythm section to take it higher.

Lubriphonic’s weekend of sit-ins continues with two shows at the Bear Creek Music Festival in Northern Florida where confirmed guests for their Friday night set include JB Horn alums Fred Wesley and Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis along with funk sax master Sam Kininger.  The band continues its Fall Tour throughout the Southeast in support of their new CD “The Gig Is On”; additionally, to give folks a taster spoon of the new disc, Lubriphonic is currently offering a free download from the new disc: the scorching Curtis Mayfield track “If There’s A Hell Below (We’re All Gonna Go)” here.

Complete Lubriphonic information can be found at www.lubriphonic.com.

Check out some previous Lubriphonic coverage on The Grateful Web.

Will Hoge Announces New Single And Tour!

Critically-acclaimed Nashville rocker Will Hoge’s latest album THE WRECKAGE received high praise from the likes of USA Today, calling it “both welcome and worth the wait.”   On Oct. 11, the second single from the disc, “Favorite Waste of Time,” will be released to radio.

“This song was a first taker in the studio,” says Hoge.  “We tracked all of it with just the four band members going live.  It just had such a great 'live' energy.   We later tried to beat the original guitar solo, but we weren’t ever able to top the feel and emotion of that first take so we just went with it.  And the lyric is pretty relatable for guys and girls...it’s definitely a fan favorite out on the road.”

BBC calls the track a “catchy, good-time rocker designed to rev up an audience,” while American Songwriter boasts that it “bites with bitterness and searing kiss-off electric guitar.”

To preview “Favorite Waste of Time,” click here.

The long time road warrior is not slowing down this fall as he continues a rigorous touring schedule with upcoming headlining dates.

FAVORITE WASTE OF TIME TOUR DATES:

9/25             Nashville, TN

10/6             Memphis, TN
10/7             Louisville, KY
10/8             Iowa City, IA
10/9             Toledo, OH
10/10            Chicago, IL
10/13            Knoxville, TN
10/14            Newport, KY
10/15            Columbus, OH
10/16            Akron, OH
10/17            Lexington, KY
10/20            Athens, GA
10/21            Atlanta, GA            
10/22            Johnson City, TN
10/23            Greenville, SC

Rex Foundation Announces Ralph Gleason Award to Jorma Kaukonen

We certainly set out running and we took our time! Once the board determined who was to receive it, consensus was unanimous.

The Rex Foundation is pleased to award Jorma Kaukonen the 2009 Ralph J. Gleason Award for a scholarship program at Fur Peace Ranch to serve Appalachian youth. The $10,000 award is in memory of music journalist Ralph J. Gleason, a major figure in the advancement of music in America in the 1960s, whose openness to new music and ideas transcended differences between generations and styles.

Founding Rex board member, Jerry Garcia, and guitarist Jorma Kaukonen were peers in the Haight Ashbury days of 1960s San Francisco. Their respective bands, Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, exemplified the San Francisco Sound. Both musicians were pickers, that is they loved to play. Jerry and Jorma both taught guitar. Jerry gave lessons at Dana Morgan's Music Store in Menlo Park near Palo Alto south of San Francisco. Jorma continues to teach at the 116 acre Fur Peace Ranch which he and wife Vanessa created in South Ohio on the edge of Appalachia. According to Jorma, "Fur Peace Ranch is a ranch that grows guitar players." Classes and workshops are held throughout the summers with instructors who are also world class musicians. Fur Peace Ranch accommodates budding musicians of all skill levels. Jorma Kaukonen continues to perform with fellow musician, Jack Casady, in Hot Tuna.


The Rex Foundation gratefully acknowledges the contribution Jorma has made to a vast community of music lovers, musicians and underserved youth who will continue to be nurtured with this award.

Furthering what the Grateful Dead started 26 years ago, the Rex Foundation endeavors to fund grassroots programs that are often under the radar of larger funding entities, yet work in bold, innovative ways to carry out essential work toward a healthy environment, promotion of the arts, protection of indigenous cultures, assisting others less fortunate, building strong communities and educating children and adults everywhere.  The Rex Foundation has distributed $8.6 million in grants to over 1,000 program across the U.S. and internationally, while also carrying out initiatives that foster creativity and positive community connections.

1320 Records to Release John Hughes' RESET THE WAREHOUSE May 18th

STS9's boutique record label, 1320 Records, proudly presents Reset the Warehouse, the new studio release from John Hughes (May 18th, 2010 / 1320 Records).  A new recording studio, a new record label, and a new record allow John Hughes to step out from the familiar surroundings of Hefty Records, the label he founded in 1996, to strengthen his creative partnership with 1320 Records.

Though Hughes has collaborated with label-founders STS9 for years, this marks his first official release on 1320-an alliance long in the making, given both parties' shared mission of creating and supporting new music under artist-run labels.  Like Hefty, 1320 is an independent, musician-run collective that stresses cooperation between the artist and label.

According to Hughes, "Working with 1320 affords [him] the freedom to focus entirely on the music and the live performances in support of the record."

And, STS9 adds about Hefty, "few contemporary American labels have had as much influence on [the band]. We are extremely honored and excited to be apart of the 'Reset' release."

Hughes has recorded and released over a dozen albums under various aliases and groups like Slicker, Brood, Some Water and Sun, and Bill Ding, as well as under his own name.  His latest creation, Reset the Warehouse, represents the prime selections from a productive period of meticulous tracking and experimentation at his HFT Studio, located outside of Chicago.

Working with a team of veteran musicians and trusted collaborators, Hughes has assembled a cohesive union of styles and recording techniques, resulting in a record that explores uncharted directions while remaining rooted in sounds and beats that a listener may only describe as "classic."

As Hughes explains, "I wanted this recording to have a live, gritty sound, so I took it outside of the computer as much as I could. It was mixed through a board to tape, and the synths are all analog. Within the context of an electronic record, the live performances also help give it a warm, organic feel."

When it came time to edit and mix the tracks, Hughes looked to vibraphonist Rick Embach, who was involved in the sessions from the earliest stages, as well as his old friend Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv.  Hughes brought his recording sessions to Eustis' studio in Chicago, and together they mixed the tracks thorough an analog mixing board and then to two-track tape, giving the album the finishing touches and appropriate analog "glue" it required.

Visit here to view the entire supporting cast of Reset the Warehouse.

The Reset the Warehouse track list is as follows:

1.  A Reflection of the Times

2.  Waukee Wallop

3.  Another One

4.  Reset The Warehouse

5.  Pterodactyl Piano Bar

6.  Little Dot in the Sky

7.  Done Everything

8.  Moan Pop Asheesh

9.  Witchfinger

10.  You Don't Love Me

11.  Wow, I Think I Love You

12.  Naphtha Jets

As his work in the studio continues to evolve, and interest in his music continues to soar, John Hughes takes to the road this summer with label mates STS9, in support of Reset the Warehouse.  Hughes will perform this August and September with STS9 at select events in NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and at the infamous Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado.

For more information on John Hughes and to see full tour date information please visit here.