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Moody Bluegrass Two Featuring Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush & More Available Now

Following 2004’s critically and commercially acclaimed tribute to the legendary Moody Blues, the GRAMMY nominated Moody Bluegrass, along with the highly successful Moody Bluegrass Live, Nashville’s finest have come together again to honor the Moody Blues with Moody Bluegrass Two…Much Love released nationwide this week!

“We have had so many cover versions of our songs over the years, but none have stood out like Moody Bluegrass. Nashville's most outstanding musicians have once again brought a new dimension to our songs,“ said Ray Thomas, co-founder of the Moody Blues.

Producer David Harvey returns for this second volume, which perfectly blends the brilliant songwriting of the Moody Blues with the bluegrass sounds of mandolins, banjos and even clogging. The collection of bluegrass covers includes Moody Blues members Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge, as well as band co-founders Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas and a wide assortment of Music City’s finest including Vince Gill, Ricky SkaggsSam Bush and more.

The record spans the entire Moody Blues catalogue, and includes fan favorites such as "Tuesday Afternoon" and "I Know You're Out There." Moody Bluegrass Two translates the Moody Blues’ original songs seamlessly and much like the first bluegrass tribute, the beauty of the original Moody Blues music shines.

Moody Bluegrass Two also features the talents of Tim O'Brien, Harley Allen, Peter Rowan, Jan Harvey, Ronnie Bowman, Emma Harvey, Larry Cordle, John Cowan, Jon Randall, David Harvey, Tim May, Andy Hall and Andy Todd.

For more information visit www.moodybluegrass.com.

Vince Gill, Sam Bush, Ricky Skaggs and More Join Moody Bluegrass Two

Following 2004’s critically and commercially acclaimed tribute to the legendary Moody Blues, the GRAMMY nominated Moody Bluegrass, along with the highly successful Moody Bluegrass Live, Nashville’s finest have come together again to honor the Moody Blues with Moody Bluegrass Two…Much Love available nationwide on June 21, 2011.

“We have had so many cover versions of our songs over the years, but none have stood out like Moody Bluegrass. Nashville's most outstanding musicians have once again brought a new dimension to our songs, “ said Ray Thomas, co-founder of the Moody Blues.

Producer David Harvey returns for this second volume, which perfectly blends the brilliant songwriting of the Moody Blues with the bluegrass sounds of mandolins, banjos and even clogging. The collection of bluegrass covers includes Moody Blues members Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge, as well as band co-founders Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas and a wide assortment of Music City’s finest including Vince Gill, Sam Bush and Ricky Skaggs.

The record spans the entire Moody Blues catalogue, and includes fan favorites such as "Tuesday Afternoon" and "I Know You're Out There." Moody Bluegrass Two translates the Moody Blues’ original songs seamlessly and much like the first bluegrass tribute, the beauty of the original Moody Blues music shines.

Moody Bluegrass Two also features the talents of Tim O'Brien, Harley Allen, Peter Rowan, Jan Harvey, Ronnie Bowman, Emma Harvey, Larry Cordle, John Cowan, Jon Randall, David Harvey, Tim May, Andy Hall and Andy Todd.

For more information visit www.moodybluegrass.com.

Time, NYT Laud Jake Shimabukuro

It's been a banner year thus far for Jake Shimabukuro. His new album 'Peace Love Ukulele' (HITCHHIKE RECORDS) debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Album chart, and has brought the Hawaii native national acclaim from NPR, YouTube and others. Time Magazine and the New York Times can now be added to the list in praise of Shimabukuro's virtuosic ukulele playing.

Nate Chinen of the New York Times said of a recent performance Shimabukuro at Brooklyn Bowl:

"Shimabukuro… comes by his fame with buoyant musicianship and brisk proficiency. The innovation in his style stems from an embrace of restrictions: the ukulele has only four strings and a limited range. He compensates with an adaptable combination of rhythmic strumming, classical-style finger-picking and fredboard tapping."

Read the entire review here.

Shimabukuro and his ukulele are also featured in a Time Magazine article by Tim Morrison about the instrument and its sudden surge in popularity. Morrison notes that a quick Google search of ukulele "won't be some grainy clip of Tiny Tim or George Formby but a performance by a hair-gelled 34-year-old Hawaiian named Jake Shimabukuro."

Read the Time Magazine piece here.

Read Grateful Web coverage of Jake here.

Truth & Salvage Co. Singer/Songwriter Files Suit Against Marriott Hotel Corporation

According to a recent lawsuit filed in Tulare County California, Tim Jones--one of the four singers/songwriters of the musical group TRUTH & SALVAGE COMPANY--was shaken awake and ripped from his bed by hotel security and local police while sleeping at the Marriott Hotel in Visalia, CA.  Jones, a Marriott rewards member and a registered guest staying the night at the Visalia Marriott in February 2010,  was handcuffed, assaulted, taken to jail and cited for trespassing and resisting arrest in his own hotel room after performing at a concert earlier in the evening. In the wake of the assault and imprisonment, Jones filed suit against Marriott Hotel Corporation on four counts, including negligence, negligent supervision, assault and battery.

Ironically, Marriott Hotel's slogan is, "Your home away from home." Tim Jones learned the hard way that Marriott's slogan is nothing more than that, simply a slogan. Instead of spending the night in his hotel room, the singer/songwriter was forced to spend the night in a Visalia jail cell. Jones was finally released at noon the following day.

Following the incident Jones said, "I was shocked by the break-in and arrest.  I kept telling them that I was a registered guest but they acted as if they couldn't hear a word I was saying."

One month after the incident, Jones was set to be arraigned in the Tulare County Superior Court. Legal representatives of the band arrived at the courthouse to answer for Jones, only to find that the District Attorney's office had not filed any charges against Jones.  To date, charges have not been filed and Visalia Police have refused to release the police incident report to the Los Angeles based Jordan Law Group, PLC; the Truth and Salvage legal team.  Attorney Vahe Jordan was quoted as saying "We’re hopeful that Marriott will accept responsibility for the way they treated Jones, who has been a loyal customer for many years."

Marriott experienced a public relations nightmare last year that spread in blogs, stemming from the legal position their Stamford, Connecticut franchisee attorneys took when a woman brought suit citing security shortcomings after being raped in the presence of her two children while in a parking structure located at the Stamford Marriott Hotel and Spa.  Court documents filed by the Marriott franchisee attorneys last year state the victim "failed to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children and proper use of her senses and facilities."  The defense was viewed by many as blaming the victim.  Marriott later dropped that defense.

As for Jones, he did not have any outstanding warrants; he wasn't suspected of, nor accused of, any crime prior to being violated by Marriott Security staff and the Visalia Police. He later received medical treatment for injuries sustained during the arrest.

Currently, Tim Jones and his band Truth & Salvage Co. are touring the United States in support of their self-titled debut album (Megaforce Records/Silver Arrow Records) which was released in May of this year and was produced by Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes.  Truth & Salvage Co.--set to make their national television debut on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” this Thursday, August 19--was cited as a “Top 10 Band To Watch This Summer” by USA Today and Rolling Stone said the band “has what it takes for the long haul.”  Their album was given 4½ stars by Glide.com, which noted, “Truth and Salvage is an explosion of Americana and sweaty Rock-n-Roll that comes off more like a greatest hits album than a debut...set to become an instant classic."

Rhythm Devils ft. Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann announce Summer Tour

For nearly three decades they were the two-headed, eight-limbed, polyrhythmic engine that drove the Grateful Dead. Now, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart are the Rhythm Devils, and when the veteran percussionists take to the road this summer, even the most Deadicated of fans will be in for some big surprises. “The music is quite different,” says Kreutzmann. “It’s real groove-based. It has lots of percussion and electronics. It’s very danceable. It’s gonna be quite a mix up there.”  Hart says, “This music will take you to a very special place, I think. It’s like a super friendly rhythm snake that has wrapped itself around the world a few times and now it’s coming our way. It’s electric; it’s got rhythm, has words and flies. It’s the Rhythm Devils.”

Joining Hart and Kreutzmann in the Rhythm Devils for this tour will be Nigerian talking drum master Sikiru Adepoju, returning from the last RD tour in 2006, Back Door Slam’s Davy Knowles (guitar, vocals) and Andy Hess (bass). Plus one-man-band Keller Williams (guitar, vocals) makes his first run as a Devil, joining the band on select dates, as does The Mother Hips' Tim Bluhm (guitar, vocals).

The Rhythm Devils name has its origins in the late ’70s. As Hart explains, “I remember Jerry looking at Bill and I one time. He shook his head and just said, ‘You guys are Rhythm Devils.’”

But the 2010 incarnation of the Rhythm Devils is guaranteed to be unlike anything that’s come before—the dynamic mix of the musicians’ individual but complementary styles and approaches is sure to lead to some serious sparks. “It’s a great combination,” says Hart. “You have the deep trance music from Nigeria and West Africa that Sikiru brings to us and there’s Davy who at any moment just might rip the sky apart with his guitar and Andy Hess is a real gem of a bass player. Joining us for the first part of the tour is the 'one man band' Keller Williams and on the second part of our tour is Tim Bluhm, who will bring his ferocious California guitar style and beautiful vocals to the mix.”

While both Hart and Kreutzmann promise that the music will be percussion-driven, another factor contributing to the Rhythm Devils’ special mojo is the troupe’s repertoire: Not only will they be reconstituting some familiar Grateful Dead tunes in their unique way, but the Devils will also be performing numerous tunes written exclusively for them by Robert Hunter, the legendary songwriter whose collaborations with the late Jerry Garcia provided the Dead with their most beloved and durable material.

“Robert Hunter is a major force in all of this. He has written his heart out in these new songs,” says Hart. “There will also be enormous, exciting electronic sections of pulsing, throbbing, beautiful zones. There are places and sounds still unknown and unborn that we will no doubt visit.”

Kreutzmann and Hart have been inextricably entwined as partners since they first met in 1967, two years after the formation of the Grateful Dead with Kreutzmann the sole drummer. On that first night, they literally “played the city,” walking around San Francisco with drumsticks banging on everything in sight. Hart joined them immediately and except for a brief hiatus in the ’70s, the pair remained with the Dead until 1995, when Garcia’s death signaled the end of an era. Since then, Kreutzmann and Hart have continued to make music both together (most recently in The Dead) and apart, but they both agree that a special chemistry takes place when their percussive minds are in sync.

“When we get together and we’re in the groove it’s a tractor beam,” says Hart. “Anyone around that will be drawn in. But we always thought of the Grateful Dead, and anything that we did together, as a work in progress. This too is a work in progress and that’s the best thing you could say. We’re looking to the future with this kind of music. In the Grateful Dead we created a body of work that we’ll not leave behind. But we also have an identity as the Rhythm Devils, and that’s who we’ll be.”

When they’re not working together as the Rhythm Devils, both Hart and Kreutzmann are involved in other projects. Kreutzmann plans to release a new album later this year with his other band, 7 Walkers, which features singer-songwriter Papa Mali (who has also been collaborating with Hunter on new material), multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard, and George Porter Jr. on bass.

Among Hart’s recent endeavors is the tentatively titled Rhythms of the Universe, a project of enormous scope. Hart is currently working with leading scientists to capture raw light waves from Space and then transform those light waves into sound waves. Hart then uses those sounds to compose Universal music. Hart's goal is nothing less than exploring what the universe really sounds like, from the Big Bang to the galaxies, to the stars and planets and beyond.

But for both Kreutzmann and Hart, it’s the upcoming Rhythm Devils tour that’s got them most excited. “It’s part of my lifelong partnership, my 40-year rhythmic experience, with Bill Kreutzmann,” says Hart. “It’s time for Bill and me to get together and explore new rhythms and take it to the next level. We share a unique rhythm and we’ve got some great guys with us who we’re going to explore what it sounds like on this planet…star date; 2010.”

Rhythm Devils current tour schedule is as follows:

Friday, July 16 Arcata Theatre Arcata CA with Keller Williams
Saturday, July 17 String Summit North Plains OR with Keller Williams
Sunday, July 18 Britt Festival Jacksonville OR with Keller Williams
Thursday, July 22 Ogden Theatre Denver CO with Keller Williams
Friday, July 23 Steamboat Springs Concert Series Steamboat Springs CO with Keller Williams
Saturday, July 24 Spud Drive In Driggs ID with Keller Williams
Sunday, July 25 Red Butte Garden Salt Lake City UT with Keller Williams
Tuesday, July 27 Orpheum Theatre Flagstaff AZ with Keller Williams
Wednesday, July 28 Rialto Theatre Tucson AZ with Keller Williams
Thursday, July 29 Soundwave San Diego CA with Keller Williams
Saturday, July 31 Gathering of the Vibes Bridgeport CT with Keller Williams
Tuesday, January 4 - Sunday, January 9 Jam Cruise 9 Fort Lauderdale FL with Tim Bluhm
Sunday, January 9 Revolution Fort Lauderdale FL with Tim Bluhm
Part two of the summer tour still to be announced.

Truth & Salvage Co. Singer Arrested & Jailed...In His Hotel Room?

Tim Jones, one of the four singers/songwriters of the musical group Truth & Salvage Company, was shaken awake and ripped out of bed at the Marriott Hotel by Visalia Police while asleep in his hotel room.  Jones was subsequently handcuffed, taken to jail and cited for trespassing and resisting arrest in his own hotel room.

Truth & Salvage Co. toured with The Black Crowes throughout 2009 and is currently on tour in support of their debut album scheduled for release May 25, 2010.  While on a recent road trip to Visalia, California, the band finished their show at the Cellar Door and returned to the Marriott Hotel in Visalia at approximately 1 AM.   Two Visalia Police officers and a Marriott security guard entered Jones' room about an hour later and arrested Jones.  According to sources close to the band, the Visalia Police officers unsuccessfully attempted to awake and arrest Walker Young, another Truth & Salvage Co. singer who was sharing the room with Jones.

Instead of spending the night in his hotel room, Tim Jones spent the night in a Visalia jail cell.  He was finally released at noon the following day.

Jones was set to be arraigned in the Tulare County Superior Court on March 9, 2010. Legal representatives of the band arrived at the courthouse to answer for Jones, only to find that the District Attorney’s office had not filed any charges against Jones at the time of the arraignment. To date, the Visalia Police have refused to release the police incident report to the Jordan Law Group who serve as the Truth & Salvage Co. legal team.

A source close to the band said, "It's an abuse of authority for police and hotel security to enter a person's hotel room without a warrant, wake them out of a sound sleep, cite them for trespassing and then haul them off to spend the night in jail."

Jones did not have any outstanding warrants; he wasn’t suspected of, nor accused of, any crime prior to being violated by the Visalia Police and Marriott Security.  He subsequently received medical treatment for injuries suffered during the arrest.  Jones and his fellow band members, intend to aggressively pursue their legal rights.

Jones recently filed a claim for damages with the City of Visalia.

Folk, Americana & Alt-Country in Fort Fun

On February 26, 2010, James McMurtry, Great American Taxi, and the Cracker Duo graced Fort Collins with their music and their special blends of Folk, Americana, and Alt-Country. Folk culture is defined as a specific group of people relating to a certain locale.  Fort Collins night of folk music couldn’t have been more appropriate on the anniversary of Johnny Cash’s birthday.

Tim Reynold & TR3 w/ On the One @ Tipitina's French Quarter!

timTim Reynolds has been playing music all of his life. Starting as a bass player in a gospel band in his hometown of St. Louis to his break through band in the 80's, TR3 and forward to recording and touring with Dave Mathews Band, Reynolds is a guitarist who rises above the mere mastery of chops to a virtual state of communion with his instrument. Since earning the reputation as a musical virtuoso alongside Dave Matthews, Tim Reynolds has been recognized for his mind-bending guitar techniques, his trademark ability to improvise on any instrument, and his uncommon command of melody and dissonance. He makes use of every capacity the guitar possesses from progressive rock, straight-up jazz and high-powered funk fusion guitar. Tim Reynolds founded TR3 in the 80's and brought back a new version of the band in 2008 to rock and funk the house down. Don't miss this master of psychedelic improvisation on the acoustic guitar!

Opening for the funky rock of Tim Reynolds and TR3 will be San Diego Music Award Winners for Best Jazz Album (2007), ON THE ONE. Drum King John Staten (Karl Denson's Tiny Universe) teamed up with long time friend and sax aficionado Jesse Molloy (Giant People) to create ON THE ONE in the summer of 2006. Bassist Andy Irvine (Giant People) and the recent addition of guitarist Pete Lombardo square this funky soul rock quartet. With music industry heavy hitters calling him one of the best drummers in the business, Staten's hard hitting hip-hop beats drive ON THE ONE's sound. Sax, groove bass, and effortless guitar team up to bring generations of music lovers to the dance floor.

Don't miss the Funkdown at Tipitina's French Quarter!

And remember, this year the Backbeat Jazzfest Series will be offering music lovers and the musicians they love smoke-free environments at all shows.

Advance tickets are $20 and can be purchased at www.backbeatpresents.com or www.ticketweb.com.

Additional details and information about the events can be found at www.backbeatfoundation.org or by visiting the Foundation's Myspace and Facebook pages. Additional information and updates about the series can be found at the BackbeatJazzfest Series 2009 group page.

For information about the Tim Reynolds please visit his official website at www.timreynolds.com. Additional information about TR3 can be found at www.myspace.com/timreynoldstr3. For information on One the One please visit www.myspace.com/ontheone.

The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Tobacco Control Program (LTCP) coordinate their efforts in tobacco prevention and control by providing statewide coordination of existing tobacco control initiatives, funding innovative community programs for tobacco control, and improve the overall health and quality of life in Louisiana. For more information visit, www.tobaccofreeliving.org.