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This Desert Rocks - Desert Rocks Music Festival

Besides a plethora of giant fiddle contests, I really have no festival experience to speak of. (Don’t get me wrong, fiddle participants can booze, substance-abuse, and play the shit out of acoustic instruments till the sun rises) But that's a different story.  Let's get back to Desert Rocks, and how I am so fulfilled with my first festival journey! It was a weekend of love and acceptance, filled with the young, the transient, the locals, and the Coloradoans (not all of them, but a lot).

Del McCoury and Preservation Hall Release Joint Album Today!

Fans who have been streaming American Legacies, the unprecedented collaboration between bluegrass music’s legendary Del McCoury Band and New Orleans music giants, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, can finally snag a copy of the album for themselves today, April 12th, as the set is released in multiple configurations designed to appeal to casual listeners and dedicated followers alike.  The musical partners are also celebrating the event with the release of a new video that gives a sneak peek at the cross-genre blend on both a musical and personal level, with comments from Del McCoury, the PHJB’s Ben Jaffe and more, available at http://www.mccourymusic.com/americanlegacies.cfm, where the curious can still stream the project in its entirety as well as order it directly from the source.

The set—and the joint tour organized to bring its music to venues around the country—have already gotten plenty of attention for its remarkable blend of traditions. The twin legacies of bluegrass and jazz are combined in ways that underline their points of contact while preserving their distinctive characteristics, as horns blend with string band instruments to produce something at once refreshingly new and yet profoundly familiar, from the opening, tradition-based “The Band’s In Town” through the closing “One More ‘Fore I Die.”  And whether they’re tackling a decades-old standard or a new composition, the two groups bring fierce musicianship, deep respect and a rollicking good humor to the musical table in a way that makes the joy of the encounter unmistakable.

Known as one of the premiere ambassadors of bluegrass, the Del McCoury Band is fronted by veteran Del McCoury, who apprenticed in the honkytonks of Baltimore and with Bill Monroe before starting his own band more than 40 years ago.  A hero to east coast bluegrass audiences through the 1970s and 1980s, he stepped onto the national stage with a move to Nashville in the early 1990s that started the Del McCoury Band on an unprecedented streak of International Bluegrass Music Association awards and international acclaim.  Today, McCoury, along with a band that includes his sons Ron and Rob, are admired by hard-core bluegrass traditionalists and eclectic music fans and stars alike as they make appearances everywhere from the Bonnaroo Music Festival to late night network TV shows to their own popular Delfest.  For millions of fans across the US and around the world, the Del McCoury Band is simply the face of bluegrass.

Founded just a few years before McCoury joined Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has been carrying the distinctive sound of New Orleans jazz around the world on behalf of Preservation Hall, a unique venue that embodies the city’s musical legacy.  With a cast of musicians schooled through first-hand experience and apprenticeship into the music’s historic traditions, the PHJB has served as an irreplaceable, vital link to the earliest days of one of America’s most beloved forms of popular music, evoking the spirits of times past in an ever-evolving modern context that has found them traveling around the world.

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Del McCoury/Preservation Hall Tour Dates:

April 13 - St. Charles, MO @ Family Arena
April 14 - Lawrence, KS @ University of Kansas- Leid Center
April 15 - Appleton, WI @ Fox Cities PAC
April 16 - Naperville, IL @ Pfeiffer Hall
April 17 - Fayetteville, AR @ Baum Walker Hall at Walton Arts Center
April 19 - Wilmington, NC @ The Sarah Graham Kenan Memorial
May 12 - Los Angeles, CA @ UCLA- Royce Hall
May 27 - DelFest, Cumberland, MD
June 10 - Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
July 7 - Winnipeg Folk Fest
August 6 - Edmonton Folk Fest

The NEW DEAL announces the end of a spectacular 12- year career

The NEW DEAL announces the end of a spectacular 12- year career with a strong run of shows that will wrap up in the fall.

It has been an amazing run for the band and we appreciate the loyal and dedicated tND fanbase across North America and Asia. Our individual lives have taken very different paths with family, living abroad, and other various projects. We have come to a point where the time and commitment that it takes to maintain our band at its best is no longer possible. As a group, we’ve never been known to go halfway, so we have decided to end things with a great run of summer and fall shows that we hope to be the best yet.

Over the next several months, TND will return to the East Coast. The final Summer and Fall 2011 shows will bring us to many of our favorite places in the US and Canada, and we’re looking forward to finishing things off in a big way.

We look forward to each and every one of these very special shows. Our fans have been fantastically devoted and supportive, and we hope to give them a final run of performances that will be truly memorable.

In addition to the summer shows and festivals already announced, we expect to add a few more dates to give as many fans as possible the opportunity to see us play together one last time.

Much love,
Darren, Dan and Jamie

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SHOWS:
May 4 - Richmond, VA - The National w/Sub wSara & Former Champions
May 5 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory - OTT & Sub Swara
May 6 - Baltimore, MD - Sonar OTT & Sub Swara
May 7 - NYC - Terminal 5 - OTT & Sub Swara
June 3 - Ozark,AR - Wakarusa
June 4 - Hunter, NY - Mountain Jam
July 1 - Rothbury, MI - Electric Forest
July 2 - Denver, CO - Red Rocks
Aug 19 - Bartow, WV - Camp Barefoot
Aug 20 - Equinuk, PA - Equifunk Festival

Michael Franti Receives the 2010 Ralph J. Gleason Award

The Rex Foundation is pleased to award the 2010 Ralph J. Gleason Award to Michael Franti. 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, including his being a long-time contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, a founding editor of Rolling Stone Magazine and cofounder of the Monterey Jazz Festival.   Mr. Gleason's openness to new music and ideas transcended differences between generations and styles.

A Bay Area native, Michael Franti has been bringing our world exceptionally powerful, deeply felt music under a variety of names and in a wide range of genres for twenty years, from the intense punk rock of the Beatnigs, to the deeply political rap he made with the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, to his joyful and meaningful modern soul music with Spearhead, and now as Michael Franti & Spearhead.

As Rosalie Howarth, Rex Board member and KFOG Show Host and Director of Special Programming, explains, "The Ralph J. Gleason award honors people who strive to bring fresh cultural ideas and music to the mainstream public. Through his positive, inclusive lyrics, and his personal visits to strife-ridden areas such as Iraq, Palestine and Israel, Michael has seen first-hand the effects of war. He has taken his music to the people on the street, and absorbed their cultural influences in return, bringing them back to share at his annual free 'Power to the Peaceful' festival in Golden Gate Park, and on the silver screen with his powerful documentary 'I Know I'm Not Alone'.  Michael's unfailing optimism toward the human spirit and his tireless effort to spread peace and multiculturalism make him a world citizen and highly deserving recipient of the Rex Foundation Ralph Gleason Award."

Learn more about Michael Franti and his contributions from the following links:

Michael Franti CARE Soles4Souls Power to the Peaceful Stay Human

Franti states, "It's a huge honor to be recognized by the Rex Foundation for this award.  Being a fan of the Grateful Dead I know the diversity of its community and share the vision of creating togetherness and acceptance through music.  My musical message is much the same: If we can bring people together through the one-ness of music, it gives a starting point to address the larger needs of our communities and the world.  I am excited that music plays a greater role in the lives of all of us than ever before and the encouragement of this award reaffirms my faith that my journey has been worth every precious step!"

Furthering what the Grateful Dead started 27 years ago, the Rex Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization, 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.  The Rex Foundation has distributed $8.6 million in grants to over 1,000 programs across the U.S. and internationally, while also carrying out fundraising initiatives that foster creativity and positive community connections.  Visit www.rexfoundation.org for a complete list of grantees and information about current initiatives.

Over the Rhine Announces CD & Tour Dates

Over the Rhine is ready to make waves in 2011 with a new release and spring tour dates that will take them to theaters throughout the Midwest and the East Coast. The Long Surrender, the new studio album from the southern Ohio-based husband-and-wife team of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Linford Detweiler and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Karin Bergquist, is something rare and wondrous — an intimate epic.

The record, to be released February 8, 2011 on OtR’s own Great Speckled Dog label (named for the couple’s Great Dane, Elroy), marks 20 years since their 1991 debut. It’s the bountiful result of a collaboration between the couple and producer Joe Henry, whose songs they’ve long admired.

“Joe has been quietly making records (well not that quietly, he has won at least two Grammys) that don’t sound like other records bring made,” says Detweiler. “They are a little bit dark and cinematic and funky and unpredictable. It seems like he loves to help performers who have already covered a lot of miles — Mavis Staples, Elvis Costello, Solomon Burke, Loudon Wainwright III, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Mose Allison, Allen Toussaint — rediscover the soul of what they do in a new light.” The Long Surrender was recorded at Henry’s Garfield House studio in South Pasadena, Calif.

The band recently previewed The Long Surrender over a series of tour dates last fall, culminating in a weekend long December trifecta of hometown shows in Cincinnati. Performances included the Holiday Homecoming Show, their annual (15 years and counting) Christmas show at the 2,400 seat Taft Theatre; The Christmas Soiree, an intimate Sunday afternoon gathering featuring an acoustic performance, poetry reading, and Q&A with Karin and Linford; and The Long Surrender Premiere, a very special live start-to-finish performance of the album for the donors who made the fan funded record possible.

Earlier that month in Los Angeles, the band was joined onstage at the Troubadour by Joe Henry and Lucinda Williams (and supporting artist Lucy Wainwright Roche, whose special guest was her father, Loudon Wainwright III).

Over the Rhine promises to bring their smoldering live performances to every corner of the globe in 2011 . . . and here is the first round dates:

Sun., Feb. 20  NASHVILLE, TN 3rd & Lindsley
Mon., Feb. 21 LEXINGTON, KY WoodSongs
Fri., March 25   BOSTON, MA The Red Room @ Café 939 (Berklee)
Sat., March 26   NEW YORK, N.Y. Highline Ballroom
Sun., March 27   ALEXANDRIA, VA Birchmere
Tues., March 29   PHILADELPHIA, PA World Café Live
Fri., April 1   PITTSBURGH, PA Mr. Small’s
Sat., April 2   AKRON, OH Musica
Tues., April 5   ANN ARBOR, MI The Ark
Thurs., April 7   MILWAUKEE, WI Turner Hall
Fri., April 8   CHICAGO, IL Lincoln Hall
Sat., April 9   MADISON, WI Majestic Theater
Sun., April 10   MINNEAPOLIS, MN Cedar Cultural Center

Over the Rhine will also perform at the Folk Alliance in Memphis on Wednesday, February 16.

My Morning Jacket Hit The Road With The Preservation Hall Jazz Band

It’s been almost a full year, but the wait is finally over.  My Morning Jacket are ready to bring their electrifying live show back on the road.  The guys will make their way around the Southeastern United States this Spring, including a performance at this year’s Jazzfest in New Orleans.  MMJ are also excited to both try something new with their choice for an opening act, and bring some of the spirit of NOLA along with them.  The band is honored that the historic Preservation Hall Jazz Band will be supporting them on the run.

The connection with the PHJB originated in the Spring of 2009 when MMJ frontman Jim James was invited to sing with them at their home turf, New Orleans’ legendary Preservation HallJames recorded two songs with the band: “St. James Infirmary” and “Louisiana Fairytale.”  The tracks will appear on the bands forthcoming album,  PRESERVATION: An Album To Benefit Preservation Hall & The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program, out February 16th.

“When I got the invitation to go to the legendary Preservation Hall – where SO much of the music we now know and love on this earth found its early roots – I did not waste a minute,”  James reminisces.  “Getting to sing while the guys played with such glorious bursts of sound – all live in that holy room with the ghosts and garbage trucks crankin’ along – was an experience I’ll never forget.”

The PHJB’s leader Ben Jaffe shares his memory of playing with James: “I couldn’t have imagined Jim fitting in any better with the guys at Preservation Hall.  Creating music is not a science.  There is no tried and true formula.  There is an unspoken bond amongst musicians.  One that exists in the notes we choose.  Jim’s like our long lost cousin coming home for the first time.”

MMJ Tour Dates With The Preservation Hall Jazz Band:

04/20:  Birmingham, AL @ Alabama Theater

04/21:  Nashville, TN @ Municipal Auditorium

04/23:  Atlanta, GA @ Chastain Park

04/24:  New Orleans, LA @ Jazzfest

04/27:  St. Augustine, FL @ St. Augustine Amphitheater

04/28:  Charleston, SC @ Family Circle

04/30:  Raleigh, NC @ Koka Booth

05/01:  Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion

05/02:  Columbus, OH @ LC Outdoor Pavilion