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Young Deadhead Composes "The World As It Could Be" & More Good News

Henry Sidle, a 12-year old self-proclaimed avid Deadhead and musician, learned about the Rex Foundation when he read a review of The Wheel - A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia.  He contacted us, seeking to include Rex as the community service element of his upcoming Bar Mitzvah.  When I asked if he would consider learning more about The World As It Could Be project and help raise awareness about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, perhaps applying his musical talents along the way, Henry enthusiastically said, "Yes!"  Henry composed an original song "The World As It Could Be" and created a video to help get the word out about furthering human rights. Click here to read more about Henry's project, see the video and the song lyrics, and learn more about my unexpected, yet very special personal connection to Henry. Henry will be performing this song at the Gathering of the Vibes Festival, interviewed by David Gans.

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Here are upcoming Rex Musical Caravan events that reflect the wonderful support of the musical community and beyond.  Enjoy some fun, great music and kindred connection, while supporting the Rex Foundation at the same time:

July 8-10 in Tipton, PA - Pennsylvania's Mysterytrain once again supports the Rex Foundation, this time at the multi-day JesterFest at the PPG Pavilion.  Click here for details.

July 14-17 - The All Good Festival once again supports the Rex Foundation, including a Rex Jam on Saturday with Matt Butler and The Everyone Orchestra to support the Preston High School Music Program.

Saturday, August 6 - Sonoma County's own Tribal Hippie UnderGround Zone (THUGZ) are doing another show for Rex - outdoors under the stars at the rustic Rio Nido Roadhouse.  Here are the details.

Tuesday, August 9 - The SF Giants will pay tribute to the Grateful Dead with another special event package that includes support for the Rex Foundation as they face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Here is information on how to get your tickets now.

Phish Ticket Online Charity Auction Ends 4/27

Just a quick reminder that the current auction concludes Wednesday, April 27.  As of now there are several Phish Summer 2011 ticket packages with a current bid *below* face value so please take a look.

To view and/or bid on the auction, as well as read about the charities the auction supports, please visit the Mimi Fishman Foundation Auction Page.

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http://www.mimifishman.org/auctions/

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.

NPR Takes Ladysmith Black Mambazo Back Home

For their new album, 'Songs From a Zulu Farm' (out this week on Listen 2 Entertainment Group/Razor & Tie Entertainment), South Africa's a cappella treasure Ladysmith Black Mambazo went back home.

Original band member Albert Mazibuko and 20-year band manager Mitch Goldstein joined NPR Weekend Edition Sunday’s host Liane Hansen to discuss how Ladysmith Black Mambazo collected songs traditionally sung by Zulu parents to their children for the new album.

"There's such a rich, wonderful history. A personal history that comes from the group that's not always found in their CDs," Goldstein said. Mazibuko added, "When my grandmother told me about the songs, she said that their parents were singing the same songs to them."

Listen to the NPR interview here.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo was featured earlier this month on AOL’s Spinner blog, where Mazibuko, said, "Most of these songs we sing, even the traditional songs and the songs we wrote as a group, are the songs that always have lessons of encouragement, this kind of instruction."

Read more about 'Songs From a Zulu Farm' and listen to "Uthekwane" and "Leliyafu" here.

Read some Grateful Web coverage of Ladysmith Black Mambazo here.

Kinky Friedman's First West Coast Your in Two Decades

Former Texas gubernatorial candidate, political commentator and self-proclaimed “author, columnist, musician and beautician” Kinky Friedman will perform on the West Coast this summer for the first time in nearly 20 years. Dates for the “Go West Young Kinky Tour of 2010” start on July 26th in Vancouver and continue into August (a full list of venues follows). Two members of Kinky's seminal band the Texas Jewboys, Little Jewford and Washington Ratso, will join him on the tour.  No prisoners will be taken. Only the strong shall survive.

The Kinkster, often referred to as the “Mark Twain of Texas,” will also be hawking his wares, in this case his most recent (limited edition) books, Heroes of a Texas Childhood and What Would Kinky Do?, both of which will be available for purchase and signing at the shows. As Kinky has often said, he’ll “sign anything but bad legislation.” This includes any of his dozens of top-selling books or columns, or even his Kinky Friedman Cigars, which, rumor has it, will also be available at the venues. Bring it, and he will sign it.

Kinky Friedman rose to stardom in the ’70s, with the aforementioned Texas Jewboys as his sick and twisted sidekicks. An equal opportunity offender, Kinky, with his outrageous lyrics and crazed stage persona, may have offended some, but drew people like Don Imus, Robin Williams, Bob Dylan and John Belushi into his spiritual fan club. He toured with Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue and appeared on the inaugural season of Saturday Night Live. His infamous appearance on Austin City Limits, the only performance ever filmed by ACL and never broadcast because of content, has finally been released on DVD, to the delight of fans everywhere.

In the mid ’80s, Kinky rescued a woman being robbed at a midtown Manhattan ATM, and, based on this experience, created the character Kinky Friedman the Detective, who solved murders in what would become a series of wildly popular mystery novels. In the years since, the real Kinky has branched out into children’s books, memoirs, historical reflections and editorials, all to great success, and all powered by his razor sharp wit.

Kinky’s commentaries have appeared in such diverse media as The New York Times, Texas Monthly and Playboy, and since adding politics to his résumé, he has been a regular on cable networks, even stopping by occasionally to spar with Bill O'Reilly.

His books are now read the world over, and his tour schedule reflects this. From Bill Clinton to Billy Bob Thornton to Nelson Mandela, everybody loves a Kinky Friedman mystery. As the ever-humble author likes to say, “I write novels for Americans to read on their aircraft.” Billy Bob is currently working with him on a new book, as is Willie Nelson.

And now, for the first time in almost a generation, folks on the West Coast will get to hear Kinky perform (live!) tunes like “Ride ’Em Jewboy,” “Sold American” and “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore.”  And many friends will be there too: Mojo Nixon will join Kinky in San Diego, and Van Dyke Parks has already signed up for L.A.  There’s no telling who else will pop in.  Will there be a Wavy Gravy sighting in San Francisco?

The Go West Young Kinky Tour of 2010:

Mon., July 26 VANCOUVER, BC Biltmore Cabaret
Tues., July 27  SEATTLE, WA Triple Door
Wed., July 28  PORTLAND, OR Roseland Theater
Fri., July 30   SAN FRANCISCO, CA Great American Music Hall
Sat., July 31  LOS ANGELES, CA McCabe’s (2 shows)
Sun., Aug. 1  SAN DIEGO, CA Belly Up, with Mojo Nixon
Tues., Aug. 3 BAKERSFIELD, CA Fishlips
Wed., Aug. 4  SANTA CRUZ, CA Moe’s Alley
Thurs., Aug. 5 SEBASTOPOL, CA North Bay Live at Studio E