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Audio Fidelity Sets Two 24 Karat Gold CD Releases for June 21

In its ongoing program of reissuing classic rock and pop albums, Audio Fidelity will release 24 Karat Gold CD versions of Carly Simon's 1972 NO SECRETS and Bad Company's 1975 STRAIGHT SHOOTER on June 21.  The discs will be issued as numbered, limited editions that will be retired after their initial runs have sold out, and will be available from both online and brick-and-mortar retail outlets.

First issued in November of 1972, NO SECRETS was Simon's breakthrough LP and remains her best-selling recording to date, having held the No. 1 position on Billboard's album chart for five weeks and ultimately gone Platinum five times over.  Her third long-player, NO SECRETS contains Simon's signature single, the chart-topping "You're So Vain," which features Mick Jagger on backing vocals, as well as its follow-up, "The Right Thing to Do."  The album introduced eight new Simon originals, as well as a cover of James Taylor's "Night Owl," and enlisted an all-star cast of support players.  Taylor joins Simon on vocals for "Waited So Long," which also boasts contributions from Little Feat's Lowell George (slide guitar) and Bill Payne (organ), while Paul McCartney, Bonnie Bramlett and Doris Troy (of "Just One Look" fame) lend vocal assists on "Night Owl."  Richard Perry (Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, Ringo, Tiny Tim) produced NO SECRETS, and Paul Buckmaster, best known for his work with Elton John, provided string and woodwind arrangements on "When You Close Your Eyes" and the choral arrangement on "Embrace Me, You Child."

STRAIGHT SHOOTER was the sophomore album by British hard-rockers Bad Company.  Released in April of 1975, it earned the quartet of Paul Rodgers, Mick Ralphs, Simon Kirke and Boz Burrell its third and fourth hit singles:  "Good Lovin' Gone Bad" (penned by guitarist Ralphs) and "Feel Like Makin' Love" (a Ralphs co-write with vocalist/guitarist Rodgers).  The latter track was a Top 10 hit and has enjoyed a storied pop-culture legacy, having been covered by, among others, Kid Rock, ska-punkers Goldfinger and country singer Philip Claypool, and used on episodes of The Simpsons and South Park.  In addition to the singles, the album contained the FM-rock-radio staples "Deal with the Preacher" and "Shooting Star" (which Simon Kirke and Mick Ralphs have explained was inspired by the deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison).  STRAIGHT SHOOTER climbed to No. 3 on both the U.S. and U.K. charts and was subsequently certified for triple-Platinum status.  Bad Company produced the album, which was engineered and mixed by Ron Nevison, whose credits include The Who's Quadrophenia and the Rolling Stones' It's Only Rock 'N Roll.

Happy 70th Birthday, Robert Hunter!

What a long, strange trip it's been indeed... June 23 marks lyricist, singer-songwriter, and poet Robert Hunter's 70th birthday. A long-time "member" of the band, Hunter first joined up with his old friend Jerry and the gang after penning the fantastical "China Cat Sunflower." He would go on to write countless lyrics for the majority of the band's original songs including the much-beloved "Dark Star," the all-time classic "Friend of the Devil," and of course, "Truckin'."

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Robert Hunter joined the Grateful Dead in the fall of 1967, when he arrived at a rehearsal just in time to write the first verse of the band's classic "Dark Star." Though he'd never play onstage, he became not only a genuine band member but its secret Ace in the hole. Though Bob Weir's words for "The Other One" would endure, most of the band's early verbal efforts would not; it was Hunter's work that would elevate their songs from ditties to rich, complete stories set to song. Hunter had fallen into the Dead's general scene in 1961 when he'd met Garcia in Palo Alto, and he'd played in several of Garcia's early bluegrass bands. But he'd always thought of himself as a writer -- probably a novelist -- and it was only in 1967 that he fulfilled his personal destiny, and enriched the Dead's. He's gone on to write several books of poetry, and is currently at work on a novel.

Robert Hunter turned 70 years old today, June 23rd, 2011.  Happy Birthday, Robert Hunter!

Gary Nicholson's New CD, Texas Songbook

Gary Nicholson is a musical renaissance man — a number one hit songwriter, a two time Grammy winning record producer, a guitarist, singer, and recording artist. A consistent presence on the upper reaches of the country chart hit parade for the last three decades, his associations and collaborations read like an honor roll of notable talent in country and beyond: George Strait, Ringo Starr, Garth Brooks, Jeff Bridges, Robert Plant, B.B. King, Fleetwood Mac, Gregg Allman, The Judds, Buddy Guy, Neil Diamond, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Del McCoury, The Neville Brothers, Vince Gill, Delbert McClinton, Etta James, John Prine, Keb’ Mo’, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson among them. His songs have been heard in the movies Crazy Heart, Major League, City of Hope, Message in a Bottle and Where the Heart Is. “I’m always curious about working with different people and styles,” he says.

He is also a true blue son of the Lone Star State whose love and pride for the place he calls home brims from every track of his Bismeaux Records album, Texas Songbook, due out June 21, 2011. Recorded in Austin with some of the finest players in the state, it features such guest stars as Joe Ely, McClinton, Marcia Ball, Randy Rogers, Ray Benson and Jason Roberts of Asleep at the Wheel on songs inspired by or about Texas by Nicholson himself and penned with Texans like the late Stephen Bruton, McClinton, Guy Clark, Lee Roy Parnell and others. It’s sure to satisfy anyone with a taste for swinging, two-stepping, and dancehall and honky-tonk style Lone Star country music.

The album leaps into a Lone Star state of mind from the opening track, “Texas Weather,” and keeps the theme dancing though “She Feels Like Texas,” “A Woman in Texas, A Woman in Tennessee,” “Lone Star Blues” (with Ely and Benson singing along, and just recorded by George Strait for his next album), “Talkin’ Texan” and “Texas Ruby” (with Ball on piano). The set includes the signature song “Fallin’ & Flyin’” from Crazy Heart, the infectiously swinging “Messin’ With My Woman” (with backing vocals by Benson and Roberts), “Same Kind of Crazy” (written with McClinton, who plays harmonica on the track and cut the song, as did George Strait on his Twang album), and “Listen to Willie” (a tribute to the Red-Haired Stranger with Stoney LaRue and Benson on vocals and Mickey Raphael on harmonica). It wraps up with “Bless Them All” (with the McCrary Sisters), “Live, Laugh, Love” (previously recorded by Texan Clay Walker), and the closing grace note of “Some Days You Write the Song” (the title song of the Grammy-nominated Guy Clark album, co-written with Clark and Jon Randall Stewart).

Nicholson’s impetus for making Texas Songbook was his recent induction into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame. “I’ve always wanted to make a truly country record,” he says of his fourth release in his own right. “So I figured, okay, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this in Texas with all Texas players and with songs co-written by Texans. I’m just going to make the most Texas record I can possibly make and have fun doing it.”

To do so, the first and only choice was to “go straight to Ray Benson.” Recorded at Benson’s Bismeaux Studio, the disc features Asleep at the Wheel members and associates Roberts (fiddle), David Sanger (drums), Floyd Domino (piano) and Kevin Smith (bass) as well as steel guitarist Tommy Detamore and accordion player Joel Guzman. “I couldn’t have made this record in Nashville and gotten this music,” notes Nicholson, a Music City resident for now more than three decades. “I could have come close. But I knew I could only make this album in Texas.” Plus for good measure include in the creative mix some honorary Texans from the state’s “north 40” of Oklahoma like guest singer and Lone Star/Red Dirt music scene hero LaRue and Kevin Welch, co-writer of “Listen to Willie” and now residing in the Hill Country town of Wimberley.

The trail that led Nicholson to becoming an integral and pervasive presence in the Nashville music industry and scene — and 26 ASCAP songwriting awards and nomination to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame — begins in Garland in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex where he came of age within the fertile musical context of the mid 1950s.

He soon took up the guitar and started playing folk and country music, making his public debut in his school’s eighth grade talent show and winning it. Then along came The Ventures and Nicholson took up electric guitar. When he later came to believe that the Beatles “were the greatest thing ever” and heard area resident Freddie King, his fate was sealed. As a teen he played in such British Invasion-inspired bands as the Valiants, the Catalinas and the Untouchables.

While studying at North Texas State University in nearby Denton, Nicholson fell in with such other musical students as soon-to-be Eagle Don Henley and pianist/producer/arranger Jim Ed Norman, later president of the Warner Bros. Nashville label. He stayed busy by night in club bands, and was also recruited to tour with the Nazz after Todd Rundgren left the group. “They hired me because I had a Marshall stack and a Les Paul,” Nicholson recalls with a chuckle. Following a night in 1971 hanging out with Gram Parsons on a swing through Dallas by the American-music pioneer, Nicholson left college and, urged on by Parsons, moved with his band to Los Angeles.

His friends Henley and Norman soon followed as Nicholson went on to win his first publishing deal, scored his debut recorded cover by bluegrass star Doug Dillard, and inked a record deal with Kapp/MCA with his band, Uncle Jim’s Music. They rehearsed in the same building as budding star Linda Ronstadt, whose producer John Boylan helmed the first of the band’s two albums of Nicholson’s songs (with Norman on keyboards for the second), prized by collectors.

Not long after watching Henley join forces with Glenn Frey in Ronstadt’s band and then soar to superstardom in The Eagles, Nicholson married his college sweetheart Barbara and headed back to Texas in 1973. Despite the artistic boom in California, “I liked the music back in Texas better,” he notes. One reason why was an album by locals and fellow expatriates to L.A. who would also return home, Delbert & Glen (Clark).

Nicholson wound up doing stints as a guitarist in McClinton’s band throughout the rest of the 1970s. He also started a group called Hot Sauce that melded country-rock and blues and were sometimes joined by his guitar hero Freddie King at their weekly Sunday residency at Mother Blues in Dallas. He also sharpened his Western swing and country chops taking gigs throughout North Texas, and continued to hone his songwriting skills.

Then Norman tapped a Nicholson song, “Jukebox Argument,” for a recording by Mickey Gilley that ended up on the Urban Cowboy 2 soundtrack. His friend then invited him to relocate to Nashville to write for his publishing company in 1980. By 1984 he had joined the roster of legendary writers at Tree Publishing and nabbed his first No. 1 cut with “That’s the Thing About Love” by Don Williams. He has since written or co-written scores of country chart songs including such Top 10 gems as “One More Last Chance” (Vince Gill), “The Trouble With the Truth” (Patty Loveless), “She Couldn’t Change Me” (Montgomery Gentry) and Reba’s “When Love Gets a Hold of You.”

Nicholson showcased his skills as a producer on his 1995 solo debut, The Sky Is Not the Limit. Four albums for McClinton followed, two of them Grammy winners (Best Contemporary Blues Album) and another nominated, and to date the longtime friends have written some 40 songs together that Delbert has recorded. His other noteworthy productions include T. Graham Brown’s acclaimed Wine Into Water, New Day Dawning by Wynonna and the landmark Reunion by the Judds as well as discs by Chris Knight, Seth Walker and Pam Tillis plus Marcia Ball’s latest album, among others.

Soon after arriving in Music City Nicholson did his first session as a guitarist. His credit can be found on numerous albums since, especially when a taste of Texas C&W and blues is called for. He toured out of Nashville in his early years there with Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, Tracy Nelson and Gail Davies until Bobby Bare advised him to leave his band and better spend his time at home writing songs. Now that his sons are grown, Nicholson is back out on the road and with his band Fortunate Sons, who put out an album in 2010, as well as gigging and making a record under his nom de blues Whitey Johnson. As Texas Songbook hits the market, he also gathers together a country band to share stages with Asleep at the Wheel over the summer of 2011.

Texas Songbook follows the form of his previous Nashville Songbook album that collected a number of Nicholson’s top country covers in his own versions. Given his Lone Star State roots, his latest disc is a truly special endeavor for the multi-talented musical artist. “I’m really proud of it,” he concludes. “It’s very important stuff for me. As great as Nashville is and has been to me, it will never take the place of Texas in my heart."

Band Together for Ally | A Benefit for Ally Strong

Musicians from the elite Long Island/NYC/national jam band and rock and roll community are coming together for a one night effort to challenge small cell cancer and raise money for one of its own suffering from this disease.

Band Together for Ally” will take place on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at The Homestead, 107 South Street in Oyster Bay, Long Island from 6pm till at least midnight.  Allyson Strong, after receiving her master’s degree last year, was stunningly diagnosed with small cell cervical cancer just before Labor Day.  Radiation and chemo treatments at Sloan Kettering in New York City have not yielded desired results. The community is rallying to assist with the financial needs of the family to fight this dreaded disease. Small cell cervical cancer is an extraordinarily rare diagnosis. There is much to be learned about this specific type of cancer.

This one night fundraising event will assist Allyson and her family offset an extraordinary financial burden and will feature an unprecedented- one time only lineup featuring Rob Barraco (Dark Star Orchestra/The Dead/Phil Lesh and Friends) an original founding member of Red Flannel Hash along with Ally’s dad John Strong, Jeff Mattson (Dark Star Orchestra), John Strong, Jim Kempster, Lee Finkelstein (Funk Filharmonik/Blues Brothers) Rob Barraco and Patrick “Jake” Cummings will reunite as the original Red Flannel Hash for the first time in over thirty years.

Along with the Red Flannel Hash reunion additional acts scheduled to appear include: The Jim Pin Band with Tom Bowes and members of Funk Filharmonik, Quick Draw, The Mike Nugent Band and The FolkadelicsRed Flannel Hash will appear in its original entirety with Ally’s dad John playing bass in both the former 1970’s version of the band as well as with the current configuration acoustic for two separate sets.

Premium donations for raffles have been generously donated and include:  One Brian Moore Custom iGuitar with USB connectivity valued at $1,600, pendants from Tiffany & Co., a pair of 2011 season tickets to Bethel Woods, two separate pairs of camping passes with VIP tent access for Gathering of the Vibes Music, Camping and Arts Festival, July 24-28 at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT featuring Bob Weir/Phil Lesh as Furthur, Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Jane’s Addiction, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Steve Kimock, Keller Williams as the Rhythm Devils along with an additional thirty five bands.  More Vibes info can be found at www.govibes.com.

Financial / goods and services donations continue to be gratefully accepted for this fundraising effort.  Media promotion and donations are being provided by WCBS-FM, 94 X Radio, WKJY, B-103, 103.9 WRCN, My Country 96.1 Radio.  Event hosts will include Tom Bowes from Funk Filharmonik, Jonathan Lobdell formally of WLIR-FM and Cande Roth of My Country 96.1 FM.  For those not attending but would like to participate, donations are being accepted in any amount, in the form of a check made out to BARRI GLICK and sent to DAP Agency, PO Box 3587, New Hyde Park, NY 11040.

For more information please go to: www.bandtogetherforally.com.

Lee MacDougall "If Walls Could Talk" Tour Starts February 25th

British singer-songwriter-guitarist Lee MacDougall, the newest artist to emerge out of London's burgeoning acoustic movement, is set for his first tour of the U.S. beginning February 25 in New York City.  The tour will criss-corss the country over a two-month period and will include MacDougall's debut appearance at the SxSW Festival in Austin in March.

MacDougall is releasing an 11-song self-produced CD called IF WALLS COULD TALK to coincide with the tour.  The CD includes the standout tracks "The Star Hotel" and "Joanna," among others.  BBC Radio 6 host Tom Robinson says of MacDougall: "You absolutely cannot fake that kind of sincerity and passion, and particularly the yearning quality to his vocals."

Additionally, noted producer Jim Lowe (who has worked with the Stereophonics, Taylor Swift and the Charlatans, among others) has produced several tracks with Lee, including the version of "She" that is currently available from iTunes as part of a three-song EP he released last summer.  An acoustic rendition of the song produced by Lee appears on IF WALLS COULD TALK.

Originally from the fishing town of Grimsby in the north of England, MacDougall has been performing on the open mic night circuit in London that has spawned new acoustic English artists in the last two years.  His ability to couple a strong lyrical narrative with a memorable melody has enabled him to establish an international fan base that expanded when his music was embraced by the community of fans of the Twilight films. But it is the strength of his songwriting that has earned him UK industry recognition and support slots with artists such as Train, Starsailor, Paolo Nutini, The Feeling, Bob Dylan and Van Morrison.  Word Magazine review editor Kate Mossman says:  "He's amazing and very confident. Like Freddie Mercury meets Rufus Wainwright.  He's going to go a long way."

For his U.S. tour dates, he will be accompanied by Rob Hargreaves on guitar and backing vocals.

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Lee MacDougall's tour dates are as follows:

February 25-Bitter End, New York City

28-Club Passim, Boston

March 2-North Star Bar, Philadelphia

5-James Joyce Pub, Durham, NC

8-"Live at 9," WREG-TV, Memphis

9-3rd & Lindsley, Nashville

10-Zanzabar, Louisville

11-Cicero's, St. Louis

15-Poor David's Pub, Dallas

16-Hideaway on Dunvale, Houston

17-19-SxSW, Austin (specific venues to be announced)

22-Record Bar, Kansas City

24-Larimer Lounge, Denver

26-The Beat Coffeehouse & Records, Las Vegas

29-Dizzy's, San Diego

31-Hotel Café, Los Angeles

April-2 Elbo Room, San Fran

7-Tonic Lounge, Portland

8-El Corazon, Seattle

10-Backstage Lounge, Vancouver, BC

13-Sauce Spirits and Soundbar, Minneapolis

14-Double Door, Chicago

15-House Café, DeKalb, IL

20-Hard Rock Café, Pittsburgh

21-Valentines, Albany

22-Bitter End, New York City

23-World Café Live at The Queen, Wilmington, DE

11th Annual NEWPORT BEACH JAZZ PARTY

Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 17-20, 2011, will again be the time for mainstream jazz lovers from around the country (& world) to arrive in Newport Beach for “Right Down The Middle And Straight Ahead” Jazz at the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel & Spa.  The party will again center on a large stage nightly at 7:00pm (Thursday at 8:00pm) with reserved seating providing a near perfect mix of concert conditions and intimacy of a club setting, all in the Grand Pacific Ballroom.

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Highlights of this 11h Annual jazz lover’s weekend –

· Thursday’s Grand Opening Night will kick off the weekend with the Ken Peplowski Quartet followed by the Larry Fuller Trio and concluding with John Pizzarelli’s Tribute to Duke Ellington- Rockin’ In Rhythm with Swing Seven featuring Jeff Hamilton.

· Friday evening will begin with an All-Star set lead by trombonist Dan Barrett and feature Claudio Roditi-trumpet, Houston Person-tenor sax, Anat Cohen-clarinet, Eric Reed-piano, Christoph Luty-bass and Paul Kreibich-drums. The second of 4 sessions will feature tenor man Scott Hamilton along with Benny Green on piano, Chuck Berghofer on bass and Lewis Nash on drums. For the first time at the party - San Francisco vocalist Kim Nalley will take the stage together with party veteran Houston Person.  Rounding out the night will be a return of the popular Jeff Hamilton Trio!

· Claudio Roditi will open Saturday night’s sessions with an All-Star group featuring Scott Hamilton, Eric Reed, Christophy Luty and Jeff Hamilton.  The second session will bring together Yellowjackets’ famed tenor player Bob Mintzer along with party favorite flutist Holly Hofmann and the rhythm section of Benny Green, Chuck Berghofer and Lewis Nash.  Set #3 will for the first time at the party feature famed lyricist Alan Bergman and bringing the evening to a close will be an All-Star set featuring Anat Cohen, Downbeat Magazine’s Annual Critics Poll Jazz Artist Rising Star together with Ken Peplowski!

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Sunday night will open with one of the most recorded drummers in jazz- Lewis Nash followed by a solo set by pianist Benny Green.  Joining Benny for the next session will be bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton! The third set will feature the Ken Peplowski Quartet with Tom Ranier on piano, bassist Chuck Berghofer and Jeff Hamilton on drums.  Bringing the weekend to a swingin’close will be Frank Sinatra, Jr. and his 20 piece orchestra under the direction of Terry Woodson!

· Featured at this year’s Pool Sessions (Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon until 3:30pm), among 9 great sessions, will be the latin and Brazilian sounds of the Scott Martin Band;  big band standards of the Blue Note Swing Orchestra with guest Dan Barrett;  USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra directed by Bob Mintzer;  B3 organist Atsuko Hashimoto with Jeff Hamilton and guitarist Graham Dechter and the Dave Tull Trio.  Other highlights include All-Star sets lead by Bill Cunliffe, Holly Hofmann/Anat Cohen and Claudio Roditi/Gilbert Castellanos.

· Additionally, two Champagne Brunches will be offered starring legendary trumpeter Jack Sheldon on Saturday and a return performance by the popular Barbara Morrison and Houston Person on Sunday. Also appearing at the Saturday Brunch will be the Eric Reed Trio plus Scott Hamilton and on Sunday the Adam Schroeder Quartet!

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Tickets are now available for the complete four night, three-day package including one Champagne Brunch.  Prices are $350/375. Individual reserved seats are priced at $60/$75 for evening performances and $40/50 for the Grand Opening Sessions,  $30 each  for “Friday, Saturday & Sunday By the Pool” and $50 for each Jazz Brunch. For tickets to the 11th Annual Newport Beach Jazz Party, call the Jazzline at 949.759.5003 or for complete artist appearance times and an order form visit their website.

Dierks Bentley Announces 30-City Spring Tour

Multiple GRAMMY nominee and chart-topping country music star Dierks Bentley is slated to headline the 2011 JÄGERMEISTER COUNTRY TOUR kicking off March 17.  The 30-city tour runs through mid-May and will feature special guest Columbia Nashville road warrior Josh Thompson and brand new A&M/Octone duo Miss Willie Brown.  Each concert will also feature a local Jägermeister sponsored country act.

Pre-sale tickets are available to fan club members through www.dierks.com, while the general public will be able to purchase tickets beginning Jan. 21 and Jan. 28 through Ticketmaster.  The remaining cities will go on sale over the coming weeks.

“It’s a good thing we’ve got a video crew on the road with us capturing everything that goes down,” laughed Bentley.  “Putting my band, Josh Thompson, the Miss Willie Brown girls and a few thousand fans in a Jägermeister sponsored room with loud country music sounds like a pretty solid recipe for a great night!”

“For the brand’s 20th music tour, Jägermeister is bringing top country star Dierks Bentley to the stage to show our dedication and loyalty to country music,” says Bill Henderson, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advertising at Sidney Frank Importing Company, Inc.  “In addition to this great line-up, Jägermeister is sponsoring over 25 country music acts to open the shows and is looking for more.”

2011 Jägermeister Country Tour Dates:
3/17            Wallingford, CT *
3/18            Sayreville, NJ **
3/19            Atlantic City, NJ **
3/20            Pittsburgh PA **
3/24            Lewiston, ME **
3/25            Poughkeepsie, NY
3/26            Reading, PA            **
3/27            Westbury, NY **
4/1              Los Angeles, CA **
4/2              Las Vegas, NV **
4/6              Houston, TX            **
4/7              Mescalero, NM **
4/13            Asheville, NC
4/14            North Myrtle Beach, SC **
4/15            Melbourne, FL
4/16            Boca Raton, FL                                           
4/21            Mankato, MN
4/22            Sioux Falls, SD
4/23            Clear Lake, IA
4/27            Salina, KS
4/28            Bloomington, IL
4/29            Saint Charles, MO                                                        
5/5              Akron, OH
5/6              Detroit, MI
5/7              Indianapolis, IN
5/11            Augusta, GA
5/12            Charleston, SC
5/13            Norfolk, VA
* Tickets On Sale Jan. 21
** Tickets On Sale Jan. 28

Amy Speace's new CD 'Land Like a Bird' announced

Amy Speace wrote her new album, Land Like a Bird, with her life in a state of transition. Having spent many years in Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey, surrounded by concrete, taxi horns and rushing trains, Speace suddenly found herself in the South. She’d done quite well as a New Yorker: she was signed by Judy Collins — who called Speace “one of the best young songwriters” — to Wildflower Records; she was awarded an NPR “Song of the Day”; and she toured with Collins, Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin. The city’s WFUV-FM named her song “Weight of the World” the #4 Folk Song of the Decade in its 2010 year-end Top 10 list.

“But life takes its twists and turns and as much as I loved Manhattan, I felt the ending of one chapter and the beginning of another. Relief and anticipation went hand in hand with the grieving,” she says of the change.

Space began writing Land Like a Bird as she bade farewell her Jersey City apartment with the view of the Statute of Liberty and lower Manhattan (inspiration for the song “Manila Street”). Many of the songs were goodbyes to people and places (“Had to Lose,” “Ghost,” Ron Sexsmith’s beautiful “Galbraith Street”). She brought these songs and unpacked them in her new East Nashville home.

Land Like a Bird follows Speace’s 2006 Songs for Bright Street on Collins’ Wildflower Records and 2009’s The Killer in Me. The latter, her “breakup album” which featured guest vocals by Ian Hunter, earned much critical praise. “Amy Speace is a rising star,” opined USA Today. NPR said, “Her velvety, achy voice recalls an early Lucinda Williams. Sounding grounded but wounded, Speace exudes the vulnerability of someone who’s loved and lost.” The Washington Post advised, “If you bemoan the lack of solid singer-songwriters in the world who can bridge inner turmoil with universal experience, Speace is just what you need to hear.”

The new album was produced by Neilson Hubbard (Kim Richey, Matthew Ryan, Glen Phillips, Garrison Starr) at Mr. Lemons studio in Nashville. Hubbard played bass, keyboards and vibes. Speace and Hubbard first met seven years ago while performing on an Arizona TV show and discovered their simpatico musical directions. However, they did not remain in touch. When Speace moved to Nashville last year, they were reintroduced, immediately co-wrote a song, and decided to collaborate on what would become Land Like a Bird. Kim Richey sang background vocals on “Land Like A Bird,” “Half Asleep & Wide Awake” and “Real Love Song.”

“As the fall became winter and the winter became spring, Neilson Hubbard and I would meet and write or record and snippets became songs became demos became a sound we both were chasing,” Speace says of the making of the album. “And by early fall 2010 we were inside the record we both knew we wanted to make together, a full turn of the seasons from my arrival.”

In other news, Speace will be seen on the forthcoming Big Star documentary Nothing Can Hurt Me: The Big Star Story http://vimeo.com/11881695 which includes her performance of “Try Again” with the surviving Big Star members, the Posies and Evan Dando at the Alex Chilton tribute at SXSW in March 2010. Speace and charter Big Star member Jody Stephens had met at the Folk Alliance a few years back in the band’s home of Memphis. Speace was a huge fan of Big Star and was pleasantly surprised that Stephens, in turn, as a fan of hers.

Cosmic NYE, 2011 shows, New Downloads

Dark Star Orchestra will be recreating the Legendary 'Live at the Cow Palace' show from 12/31/76 plus DSO will kick off the evening with a rare acoustic set. We are looking forward to wrapping up an incredible year of touring and music ...Come Join us for the Celebration!

GA tix include admission, party favors and champagne toast

Limited VIP packages are available and include premium reserved seating, access to a private VIP bar, exclusive show poster, party favors, and a champagne toast.

Click HERE for GA NYE tix
Click HERE for VIP NYE tix

12/30 - Dark Star Orchestra will be performing 3 sets kicking things off with a special Terrapin Nation set!

Click HERE to get your 12/30 tickets today...

With DSO ringing in 2011 at The Klein on 12/30 and 12/31, we've partnered up with our friends at The Fairfield Theatre Company who are doing a weekly giveaway of DSO and Grateful Dead related merchandise each week up until the show. Visit and 'like' their Facebook Page and check each Wednesday to enter to win some great prizes, including a rare, limited edition Dark Star Orchestra poster and more!

Discounted hotel rooms are available for the 12/30 show. For rooms please call the Holiday Inn in Bridgeport, CT at 203.334.1234 and ask them for the $79 FTC Rate, by mentioning Dark Star Orchestra. The on line code for rooms is DSO if you want to reserve them that way. Our room block for 12/31 is sold out, but we found a few other options we wanted to share with you so you can still join in the party on New Years Eve!

Hampton Inn Milford - 203-874-4400
Homewood Suites Stratford - 203-377-3322
Hilton Garden inn Shelton - 203-447-1000
Residence Inn Milford - 203-283-2100
SpringHill Suites Milford - 203-283-0200

12/29 - Penn's Peak - Jim Thorpe, PA - TICKETS

12/28 - Wellmont Theatre - Montclair, NJ - TICKETS

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New Tour Dates!

DSO will hit the road after the Southbound Winter Tour for a late winter run through the mid-atlantic. Stops include The National in Richmond, VA, State Theatre in Falls Church, VA, The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown, Mexicali Blues, Reading, PA and Tarrytown, NY.

Spring brings the band back to the west coast with stops in Seattle, Portland and Eugene, OR, Arcata and Santa Cruz, CA and 3 nights at the Great American Music Hall in San Fran.

Check out our TOUR DATES PAGE for complete details.  | Check out some DSO coverage on the Grateful Web.

Fresh Nugs

Just in time to warm you up this winter season we have 14 new shows now available on our Livedownloads Site. Culled from the shows this past summer and fall you can check out performances from many of this years tour highlights including our sets from All Good, Mountain Jam, A Bear's Picnic and even a special secret show recorded at a top secret location in the Pennsylvania forest.

Check out our Livedownloads Site for these and other great shows from the DSO on Demand catalog.

11th Annual Newport Beach Jazz Party

Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 17-20, 2011, will again be the time for mainstream jazz lovers from around the country (& world) to arrive in Newport Beach for “Right Down The Middle And Straight Ahead” Jazz at the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel & Spa.  The party will again center on a large stage nightly at 7:00pm (Thursday at 8:00pm) with reserved seating providing a near perfect mix of concert conditions and intimacy of a club setting, all in the Grand Pacific Ballroom.

Highlights of this 11h Annual jazz lover’s weekend:

Thursday’s Grand Opening Night will kick off the weekend with the Ken Peplowski Quartet followed by the Larry Fuller Trio and concluding with John Pizzarelli’s Tribute to Duke Ellington- Rockin’ In Rhythm with Swing Seven featuring Jeff Hamilton.

Friday evening will begin with an All-Star set lead by trombonist Dan Barrett and feature Claudio Roditi-trumpet, Houston Person-tenor sax, Anat Cohen-clarinet, Eric Reed-piano, Christoph Luty-bass and Paul Kreibich-drums. The second of 4 sessions will feature tenor man Scott Hamilton along with Benny Green on piano, Chuck Berghofer on bass and Lewis Nash on drums. For the first time at the party - San Francisco vocalist Kim Nalley will take the stage together with party veteran Houston Person.  Rounding out the night will be a return of the popular Jeff Hamilton Trio!

Claudio Roditi will open Saturday night’s sessions with an All-Star group featuring Scott Hamilton, Eric Reed, Christophy Luty and Jeff Hamilton.  The second session will bring together Yellowjackets’ famed tenor player Bob Mintzer along with party favorite flutist Holly Hofmann and the rhythm section of Benny Green, Chuck Berghofer and Lewis Nash.  Set #3 will for the first time at the party feature famed lyricist Alan Bergman and bringing the evening to a close will be an All-Star set featuring Anat Cohen, Downbeat Magazine’s Annual Critics Poll Jazz Artist Rising Star together with Ken Peplowski!

Sunday night will open with one of the most recorded drummers in jazz- Lewis Nash followed by a solo set by pianist Benny Green.  Joining Benny for the next session will be bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton! The third set will feature the Ken Peplowski Quartet with Tom Ranier on piano, bassist Chuck Berghofer and Jeff Hamilton on drums.  Bringing the weekend to a swingin’close will be Frank Sinatra, Jr. and his 20 piece orchestra under the direction of Terry Woodson!

Featured at this year’s Pool Sessions (Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon until 3:30pm), among 9 great sessions, will be the latin and Brazilian sounds of the Scott Martin Band;  big band standards of the Blue Note Swing Orchestra with guest Dan Barrett; USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra directed by Bob Mintzer; B3 organist Atsuko Hashimoto with Jeff Hamilton and guitarist Graham Dechter and the Dave Tull Trio. Other highlights include All-Star sets lead by Bill Cunliffe, Holly Hofmann/Anat Cohen and Claudio Roditi/Gilbert Castellanos.

Additionally, two Champagne Brunches will be offered starring legendary trumpeter Jack Sheldon on Saturday and a return performance by the popular Barbara Morrison and Houston Person on Sunday. Also appearing at the Saturday Brunch will be the Eric Reed Trio plus Scott Hamilton and on Sunday the Adam Schroeder Quartet!

Tickets are now available for the complete four night, three-day package including one Champagne Brunch.  Prices are $350/375. Individual reserved seats are priced at $60/$75 for evening performances and $40/50 for the Grand Opening Sessions,  $30 each  for “Friday, Saturday & Sunday By the Pool” and $50 for each Jazz Brunch. For tickets to the 11th Annual Newport Beach Jazz Party, call the Jazzline at 949.759.5003 or for complete artist appearance times and an order form visit our website.

Those wishing to have a weekend getaway may also enjoy the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel & Spa special rate of $154 per night for a standard room, $164 for Pool/Music View, $174 for Ocean Music View and $179 for Concierge. For hotel reservations call Marriott at 949.640.4000 and ask for the Newport Beach Jazz Party rate.  The Marriott  is located at 900 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach-  10 minutes from the John Wayne/Orange County.