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Keller Williams & The WMD's Embark on East Coast Tour

Keller Williams has been called guitar's mad-scientist, a one-man-band for the new millennium and dozens of other clever sobriquets dreamed up by fans and music journalists trying to get a handle on his uplifting and ever-shifting style of music. Williams is considered by some but not by himself, to be a master of the acoustic guitar, known for his ability to solo over layers of spontaneously created loops. He is a generous performer who plays down to earth acoustic music that defies any effort to find a convenient pigeonhole.

STS9 Reaches New Heights in Lawrence (9.18.07)

Photos by Barry Brecheisen- for the Grateful Web

The members of Sound Tribe Sector 9 seem to have a special affinity for the people of Lawrence, KS.

The band has made consistent stops in Lawrence since 2002, making it a stronghold of support in the Midwest long before their almost meteoric rise in popularity has had them in demand across the region over the last few years. They were part of the inaugural Wakarusa there in 2004, made a last-minute appearance in 2006 and would have played in 2005 were it not for the death of bassist David Murphy's grandmother.

But this time around marked a new achievement for STS9, as they moved up Massachusetts St. from their usual stop at the Granada Theater to the larger Liberty Hall. This move seemed inevitable given the success they have enjoyed. What came as a surprise to everyone, however, was that the Tuesday night show sold out right before show time.

The kids of Lawrence and the surrounding region had come out in droves to see the show, and the band did not disappoint, delivering a high-energy set that left the packed house little time to catch their breath.

Sector 9's sound has changed over the last couple of years, and the feel of their shows has changed along with it. The newer songs reflect a shift from a more laid-back, spacey, jazzy approach to a more in-your-face edge. STS9 is more of a rock band now than they have ever been, and their recent writing style reflects this, but they still make every effort to appease the older fans with rare bustouts and longtime favorites.

This show offered an excellent mix of these two facets of their sound, but maintained an air of the all-out funky, rocking throwdown dance party that Sector 9's shows have become.

The upbeat Tooth, a new composition, set the tone for a first set that emphasized the band's newer sound, with a heavier backbeat accompanied by keyboardist David Phipps' synth-rich melody. The old favorite, Grow, got the crowd fully into the flow of things with its slow-building, spacey jam.

The highlight of the first set, Abcees, gave the crowd a glimpse of the band's versatility and offered the best of both worlds, flowing from a funky dub sound reminiscent of the favorite King Pharaoh's Tomb, then building to a crescendo with a fast trance beat before dropping back into the funk and setting the crowd on fire.

The rest of the set went back and forth in a similar fashion. The slow, hypnotic bounce of the older Warrior was followed by the almost abrasive, slightly robotic drone of 1103. Surreality>EB showcased drummer Zak Velmer's reputation as a human metronome, his fast-paced jazz style accented by guitarist Hunter Brown's floating guitar line. The glitchy funk of One a Day sent the crowd into setbreak on a high note and set the stage for the second set.

Set two opened with a nasty double dose of the reworked Monkey Music and The Rabble, two songs which define the in-your-face funk style of the new STS9. The former showcased the band's ability to go from funk to trance and back at the drop of a hat, carried by the rhythm section of Velmer, Murphy and Lerner, who, along with a more distorted guitar part from Brown, have given the song a heavier edge in recent years, an update from the jazzier vibe of older versions. The Rabble followed that with heavy funk in the vein of the new fan-favorite, Aimlessly.

The pattern of alternating old and new continued with one of the band's workhorse songs, the danceable GLOgli, followed by the stop-start funk of Hi-Key, with Velmer relying heavily on his arsenal of cymbals and Brown using a tone reminiscent of seventies funk.

The rare Water Song was a highlight of the set, flowing from funk to hypnotic trance and back again, done only as STS9 can: heavy and thick in parts, while spacey and ethereal in others. You Don't Say followed with more slow funk, setting the stage for a wonderful change of pace to close the set.

Breathe In could be described as the quintessential Sector 9 song, and is very special for STS9 fans. Murphy gave a speech thanking Lawrence for supporting the band over the years and selling out their first show at Liberty Hall. It was only fitting that Breathe In come next, serving as the musical thank you to the crowd.

There truly is not a more uplifting song in the band's catalog. The first part provided a musical ebb and flow, the jam rising and falling as Phipps and Brown built and released tension along Velmer's backdrop. The second half began with a long slow build into a crescendo, carried by Phipps' beautiful piano melody. This piano is the essence of the song, and it remains constant as the rest of the band allows the song to build and disintegrate. Picture the tide of the ocean creating waves, which crash down on the audience only to slowly recede before building and crashing again.

Breathe In was the perfect end to a great set, and the old-school rock of 4 Year Puma gave the crowd a chance to let loose one last time before spilling back onto Mass Street, fully spent but still all smiles.

9.18.07 Liberty Hall, Lawrence

Set I: Tooth, Grow, Abcees, 1103, Warrior, Surreality>EB, One a Day

Set II: Monkey Music, The Rabble, GLOgli, Hi-Key, Water Song, You Don't Say, Breathe In
Encore: 4 Year Puma

Grateful Dead Experience Comes Alive at UMass Amherst

- for the Grateful Web

Scholars, fans, artists, performers and members of the extended Grateful Dead family will gather at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in November for the first major university conference on the enduring legacy of the Dead experience.

Unbroken Chain: The Grateful Dead in Music, Culture and Memory, being held at November 16-18 at UMass Amherst, will bring together more than 50 presenters for 20 panel sessions ranging from music composition and improvisation to an examination of the band's business model – as well as a musical performances, gallery exhibits, and presentations. Unbroken Chain is being presented in conjunction with a semester-long graduate History seminar entitled American Beauty: Music, Culture and Society, 1945-95; and an undergraduate course entitled How Does the Song Go: The Grateful Dead as a Window into American Culture.

Among the Unbroken Chain panelists are "Mountain Girl" Carolyn Garcia, first wife of guitarist Jerry Garcia and a central figure among the Merry Pranksters who populated the early Grateful Dead scene; David Gans, host of the Grateful Dead Radio Hour for the past 20 years; Grateful Dead midi wizard Bob Bralove; and Dan Healy, who designed and built the "Wall of Sound," famed enabler of the Dead's improvisational style.

Plenary addresses will include a keynote by Dennis McNally, longtime Dead publicist and author of Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead.  McNally earned a doctorate in History at UMass Amherst in 1978.

"The academic world is not as removed from so-called reality as people think, especially those in the academic world," said McNally recently. "In the rock & roll world, there are pockets of meticulous intelligence and literacy, people like Jerry Garcia and (bassist) Phil Lesh."

The event also represents an unprecedented collaborative opportunity for scholars from more than a dozen disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, engineering and business, many of whom have come to identify their work as part of the emerging area of "Dead Studies."  This kind of collaboration emphasizes academic rigor and a traditional multi-disciplinary perspective, according to University of South Carolina oral historian Nicholas Meriwether, author of All Graceful Instruments: The Contexts of the Grateful Dead Phenomenon, recently published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

"Ultimately," says Meriwether, "the Dead phenomenon suggests a new way of looking at yourself, of what we are capable of in a modern Western Society that appears increasingly fragmented, media-drive, manipulated and alienating. . . In an era in which academics are increasingly aware of the need to collaborate across disciplinary lines, a topic with as broad-based an appeal as the Dead phenomenon should be fascinating – and welcome."

Among the other scholars taking part are Rebecca Adams, author of Deadhead Social Science: You Ain't Gonna Learn What You Don't Wanna Know; David Dodd, editor of The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics;  UMass English professor Nicholas Bromell, author of Tomorrow Never Knows: Rock and Psychedelics in the 60s; and UMass Professor of Comparative Literature David Lenson, author of On Drugs.

Also making rare appearances are several seminal figures in the evolution of Dead scholarship, including ethnomusicologist Fred Lieberman and psychologist and chaos theorist Stanley Krippner.

John Mullin, Dean of the UMass Amherst Graduate School – which is sponsoring the event along with the Department of History and UMass Amherst Outreach – said that Unbroken Chain can be a model for future academic-community collaborations.

"Is it possible that we'll take a hit for focusing this kind of intellectual talent on what Jerry Garcia himself called 'just a dance band?'" said Mullin.  "Perhaps, but universities like ours need to be courageous in propelling serious scholarship in new directions, and in reaching out to communities far and wide. When we are timid in academia, we miss real opportunities. We hope that The Grateful Dead is the just the beginning."

Gallery sessions and discussions will feature the work of photographers Herb Greene, Susanna Millman and Lloyd Wolf, as well as poster and album cover artists Mikio Kennedy and Mike Dubois. In addition, original prints of Jerry Garcia's artwork will be displayed and available for purchase. Among the films being screened will be Deadheads: An American Subculture and a digitally re-mastered Sunshine Daydream, an until-now unreleased documentary on the August  27, 1972 benefit concert at Ken Kesey's farm in Oregon.

The weekend will include performances by the American Beauty Project ensemble, doing the music of acclaimed Dead albums Workingman's Dead and American Beauty, and Dark Star Orchestra, whose rhythm guitarist Rob Eaton and keyboardist Rob Baracco will take part in several of the panel discussions. The Dark Star performance at the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center on Saturday evening will feature special guests and the work of Peak Experience Productions.

A maximum of 375 registrations for Unbroken Chain: The Grateful Dead in Music, Culture and Memory are now being accepted.

v  Information on registration and accommodations is available at www.umassconnections.com/unbrokenchain

v  Tickets, sold separately, for performances by the American Beauty Project and Dark Star Orchestra are available at http://umafacweb.admin.umass.edu/Online .

 

A full program, background and additional contacts are attached, and are available at http://www.umassconnections.com/unbrokenchain.

The Ryan Montbleau Band Supports Rex Foundation w/ New CD

Photo by Ryan Laurey- for the Grateful Web

The Ryan Montbleau Band announces fall CD release tour and designates the Rex Foundation as beneficiary of the tour.  Boston-based Ryan Montbleau Band is one of the most talked about young bands on the touring scene today. Through performing 200+ dates a year over the last three years, they have developed a passionate, coast-to-coast fan base that spans the gamut of fans of roots, Americana, R&B, soul, jam music, folk and blues. Their new independent release-Patience on Friday-is due on October 9, and is expected to help the band reach a broader national audience, thanks to the overwhelming response to the band since their first album came out 18 months ago. In that time they have developed one of the strongest MySpace presences to be found amongst independent artists (nearly 600,000 plays), and enjoy strong showings in press and at independent radio. Robust concert attendance, CD sales and free downloads (their December 30, 2007 show from Albany, NY has been downloaded over 20,000 times from www.Archive.com) have fueled nationwide interest in the band, and new fans and old will be pleased to see an ambitious coast-to-coast tour schedule for the Fall and well into 2008.

In addition to their commitment to music, the Ryan Montbleau Band wants to demonstrate their care for the greater good. The Rex Foundation is honored to be selected as the designated beneficiary of the Northeast Fall CD release tour to be the vehicle for the Ryan Montbleau Band's community giving, whereby specified shows will have a designated amount per ticket sold contributed to the Rex Foundation.

Check out the Ryan Montbleau Band website to learn more about the Band and their new CD - Patience on Friday-as well as the tour schedule and how to purchase tickets.

The Grateful Dead was always known for generosity and the performance of numerous benefits. In the fall of 1983, the Rex Foundation was established as a non-profit charitable organization by members of the Grateful Dead and friends to further this tradition. The Rex Foundation enabled the Grateful Dead to go beyond responding to multiple requests for contributions, and proactively provide extensive community support to creative endeavors in the arts, sciences, and education. The first benefit concerts for the Rex Foundation were held in the spring of 1984 at the Marin Veteran's Memorial Auditorium. Since 1984 the Rex Foundation has granted $8.2 million to some 1,000 recipients.

With the death of Grateful Dead lead guitarist Jerry Garcia in 1995, the Rex Foundation lost a friend and board member. With the cessation of Grateful Dead touring, Rex lost its main source of funding, and until now has limited its grant making to three annual awards. Current board members have reaffirmed the importance of the Rex Foundation and their desire to have the foundation once again carry out its mission in full force.

The Rex Foundation aims to help secure a healthy environment, promote individuality in the arts, provide support to critical and necessary social services, assist others less fortunate than ourselves, protect the rights of indigenous people and ensure their cultural survival, build a stronger community, and educate children and adults everywhere.

Continuing to embody the spirit of generosity and concern that evolved in the culture surrounding Grateful Dead concerts, the Rex Foundation is on a new path that seeks to include and engage many people. With activities that honor the spirit of community, service and creativity, Rex is building the funding necessary to carry out our mission. Thanks to the resounding response of so many generous supporters, since December 2001 we have granted $832,000 to 149 programs, across the United States and internationally. We plan to multiply our grant making each year so that we can once again support many grassroots programs across the United States and beyond that might otherwise be overlooked by mainstream funders, yet work in innovative and bold ways to bring about helpful solutions to challenging situations. Please visit Fostering the Power of Community, Service and the Arts to see how Rex views its work in relation to social change.

• We respect traditional wisdom cultures.

• We respect individual rights and differences.

• We are willing to take risks and trust people.

• We help people who are helping others and are trying to make a difference.

• We help people develop bold new solutions to problems.

• We benefit the broader community and the broader good.

• We practice inclusiveness and open-mindedness.

• We support organizations committed to grassroots action.

• We seek to identify entities doing good work that might otherwise be overlooked.

• Our support helps beyond direct funding by boosting the visibility of the recipient's work.

• We want to be a catalytic agent of change, where our involvement helps leverage greater impact.

• We are non-partisan.

• We promote an active, informed citizenry.

• The Foundation is an efficient conduit for supporting the community.

• Being part of the Rex Foundation is enjoyable.

• We carry on the best of the spirit of the 60's to create a more harmonious world.

We encourage your tax-deductible donations to help support Rex's work. We are also pleased to keep you up to date on upcoming benefit concerts and other activities that support Rex. Thank you for considering a gift to Rex and letting us know how you would like to stay connected. Please join our mailing list and make a donation.

The Rex Foundation has no paid board members. Virtually all of our grant recipients are selected through the personal knowledge of our decision makers – as a result, grant requests are not solicited. We have no application forms and no published guidelines. Grants are made once or twice a year, and our report is published annually.

The Rex Foundation is named after Rex Jackson, a Grateful Dead roadie and later road manager until his untimely death in 1976.

Bonnaroooo Part 2

Saturday morning is one of the toughest to motivate for, especially when it is hotter than the previous two days, but with the lineup that was ahead of us, one finds the motivation to get to Centeroo early. After all, this day was a special day in history. It was the 40th Anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival. What better way to celebrate the first rock n' roll festival, than to enjoy the festivities of the greatest rock n' roll festival.

The Grateful Dead Get "SIRIUS"

- for the Grateful Web

On The Grateful Dead Channel, exclusively on SIRIUS, you'll hear music spanning the band's career with unreleased concert recordings, original shows hosted by band members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh and Bill Kreutzmann, and even rare archival interviews with Jerry Garcia! The channel will also feature contributions from Grateful Dead expert David Gans and Dead archivist David Lemieux.

Be Part of The Grateful Dead Channel 

"This is gonna be one fun channel. We, the guys in the band, get to be involved as much as we can and we'll make sure it's fun. We want the fans to be involved as well." – Bob Weir

The Grateful Dead Channel is going to take form based on your suggestions… and your favorite Grateful Dead memories. Call 877-33-SIRIUS, hit 32, and share your thoughts on what should happen on The Grateful Dead Channel. Plus, tell us about your favorite Dead show... or your favorite Dead song… and keep listening because The Grateful Dead Channel will be ever-evolving.

GRATEFUL DEAD CONCERT RECORDINGS

The Grateful Dead Channel will air full-length concert recordings three times a day: a 3 am, noon and 9 pm (all times ET). Here are the next performances:

# 9/11 @ 3 am ET: 9/22/93 New York, NY

# 9/11 @ Noon ET: 8/16/91 Mountain View, CA

# 9/11 @ 9 pm ET: 10/31/87 New York, NY (Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band)

# 9/12 @ 3 am ET: 6/14/91 Washington, DC

# 9/12 @ Noon ET: 9/22/93 New York, NY

# 9/12 @ 9 pm ET: 11/2/79 Uniondale, NY

Listen for archival interviews with members of The Grateful Dead Saturdays at 10 am ET and Sundays at 8 pm ET, and catch Today In Grateful Dead History every day at 7 am, 11 am and 7 pm ET.

Umphrey's McGee Kicks Out the Jams with “Live at the Murat”

photo by Phil Emma-GratefulWeb.net- for the Grateful Web

The ascension continues for Chicago's Umphrey's McGee, not only in terms of their commercial success but in creative accomplishment and instrumental achievement as well. Their performance on Live at the Murat (SCI Fidelity), their first official live release, is as impressive as anything they've recorded to date, with the power and finesse, the yin and the yang, that have come to characterize their by-now classic material.

Recorded in Indianapolis in April 2007 and produced by longtime "sound caresser" / honorary seventh member Kevin Browning, the two-disc set features fan favorites like "Push the Pig," "The Triple Wide," "In the Kitchen," and "Nothing Too Fancy" along with rare tunes like the set-ending "Padgett's Profile" and the brief but torrid "Angular Momentum," centered on the combo of drummer Kris Myers and guitarist Jake Cinninger.  The band also dusts off tunes like "Hajimemashite" from '98s Songs for Older Women, and the Yes meets Little Feat-influenced "40's Theme," a live favorite for the band and its fans.  

Throughout the show, UM's invention brings the progressive instrumental chops of Zappa and the stylistic savvy of Steely Dan.  It is innovative without being indulgent, exhilarating without losing control, and there are plenty of improv passages that keep the band and their fans off-balance.  Clearly, logging 120 gigs a year, "live" is where UM lives.

The current list of confirmed tour dates is as follows:

September 13 Orpheum Theatre Madison WI
September 14 Canopy Club Urbana IL
September 15 Taft Theatre Cincinnati OH
October 04 Liberty Hall Lawrence KS
October 05 Granada Theater Dallas TX
October 06 Stubb's BBQ Austin TX
October 14 The Echo Project Fairburn GA
October 16 Toad's Place - Lady Byrd Hat Building Richmond VA
October 17 Nightclub 9:30 Washington DC
October 18 Magic City Music Hall Johnson City NY
October 19-20 Nokia Theater Times Square New York NY
October 22 Harro East Ballroom Rochester NY
October 24-25 Higher Ground Ballroom Burlington VT
October 26 Orpheum Theatre Boston MA
October 27 House of Blues Las Vegas NV
October 28 Vegoose Las Vegas NV
October 31 Fillmore Auditorium Denver CO
November 15 Amos' South End Charlotte NC
November 16 City Hall Nashville TN
November 17 Work Play Soundstage Birmingham AL
November 18 Bear Creek Music Festival Quincy FL
November 29 Orbit Room Grand Rapids MI
December 01 Michigan Theatre Ann Arbor MI
December 13-17 Caribbean Holidaze Runaway Jamaica
December 29-31 The Aragon Ballroom Chicago IL
March 16-18 Jam in the Dam Amsterdam Netherlands

More dates to be announced.

Live at the Murat is the latest feather in the cap of the dazzling sextet.  They followed their highly touted spring 2006 studio release Safety In Numbers with the magical odds and sods The Bottom Half in the spring of this year.  The album, with its outtakes, alternate versions, and other nifty bits, reached #26 on Billboard's coveted "Heatseakers" Chart and received high marks from the music press.  HARP magazine recently noted "…[The Bottom Half delivers] creamy studio work infused by diabolical skill."  Also in 2006, Umphrey's McGee sold out shows in theaters coast to coast, appeared at Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, and made their late night TV debut on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live."  Booked by the Monterey Peninsula Booking Agency, the band recently sold out three nights at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom, two nights at Irving Plaza, San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium, and the list goes on, as does Umphrey's McGee.

Bruce Springsteen | "Magic" | New Music Review

Bruce Springsteen not only has a new album out with the E Street Band, (their first since 2003) but the group is back together again, launching a tour in October.  The album, "Magic" brings 11 new Springsteen songs to the Archives of Eternal Americanna. Their last contribution was "The Rising" in 2002.

A Look Back at the 2007 10,000 Lakes Festival

Hey kids! Sorry this review is so late, but life always gets in the way once you return from a fest huh? Anyway, I moved to another state so that was a bit disruptive, then I got almost entirely finished with this little piece here, and the house got struck by lightning! And wouldn't it just figure that the two things that got smoked were some files I had open on another computer (including this review) and my beloved stereo! Heartbreak all around. I digress. Hope everyone had a great summer and are finding some cool musical events for the upcoming lovely fall weather.

Michael Franti Hosts 2007's Power to the People Fest

photos Copyright© GratefulWeb.net- for the Grateful Web

On Saturday, September 8th, renowned and outspoken musician and filmmaker Michael Franti and his group Spearhead – along with Guerrilla Management – present the 9th Annual "911 Power to the Peaceful Festival" at Speedway Meadow in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. The free music and arts festival is dedicated to social justice, non violence, coexistence and environmental sustainability and aimed to educate, enrage, enlighten and inspire. It drew over 60,000 attendees in 2006.

Artists confirmed to appear alongside Anti- recording artists and headliners Michael Franti and Spearhead at the event include Indigo Girls, Lifesavas, and Hot Buttered Rum. The event will be hosted by Hard Knock Radio and broadcasted live on Pacifica station KPFA. Special guests and speakers will include journalist, author and Democracy Now! founder Amy Goodman, MOVE Member Mario Africa, and others.

In addition to the main stage of International Musical Artists and award-winning speakers, the PTTP Festival will also feature morning yoga, an open-air art gallery, a healing arts tent, vendors and food booths, an eco village, a bicycle coalition and social, environmental & political organizations tabling and forums. This year's DJ Tent will be headlined by DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid and Bassnectar.

A family-friendly kid's zone will boast arts and crafts with an amazing peace flag-making workshop with Daily Acts, live theater with the Big Tadoo Puppet Crew, games, story-telling, face-painting, organic "snack time," and an exhibit from the Museum of Children's Art and a mid-afternoon Kid's Parade. A favorite in the kid's zone is the sing-a-long with Michael Franti, where the festival founder visits and sings with the youth. An exciting addition to this year's festival will focus on Franti's new children's book, What I Be.

9th Annual Power to the Peaceful Music and Arts Festival  Saturday, September 8th
Speedway  Meadow, Golden Gate Park
Admission is FREE

9:00 AM PTTP COMMUNITY YOGA PRACTICE
11:00 AM HOT BUTTERED RUM
12:25 PM LIFESAVAS
1:40 PM INDIGO GIRLS
3:30 PM MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD

Power to the Peaceful After Party
Saturday, September 8th / 9 PM  Mic
hael Franti & Spearhead PTTP All Star Jam Session
Mezzanine (444 Jessie Street @ Mint)
w/ special guests Heavyweight Dub Champion
plus live DJ sets by Hoola, the Shamanic Cheerleaders
Tickets are $30.00 and available now at www.powertothepeaceful.org.

Sunday Yoga Jam at Speedway Meadow
Sunday, September 9th / 11 am SUNDAY YOGA JAM
w/ a special performance by Michael Franti
 
Speedway  Meadow, Golden Gate Park
Individual Classes: $45.00 / Three Class Card: $110.00
Tickets available now at www.powertothepeaceful.org.
11:00 AM doors and registration
Yoga Classes at 11:30 am /1:15 PM / and 3:45 PM

Since 1998, the free, outdoor "911 Power to the Peaceful Festival" has been a fun, educational, hip and diverse annual experience. The first event was held in a neighborhood park and drew 6,000 people. In recent years, it has grown to draw over 60,000 people to the spacious Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park. Past artists and speakers have included The String Cheese Incident, John Butler Trio, KRS-One, Digital Underground, Woody Harrelson, Angela Davis, Dennis Kucinich, Ram Das, Blackalicious, Alice Walker, Talib Kweli, The Coup, Saul Williams, Keller Williams, Lyrics Born and many others.

 

In a year that is shaping up to be his most active year yet in support of the peace movement, Michael Franti visited and performed for injured soldiers at Washington's Walter Reed Army Medical Center this past April, before participating in a fundraiser for Iraq Veterans Against the War. In May 2007, Franti performed an extremely rare San Quentin Prison concert, extolling the virtues of peace in a performance before some 2,000 inmates.

The award winning filmmaker Franti - who is responsible for I Know I'm Not Alone, the heralded 2005 documentary about the Iraq War, and the subsequent 2006 Anti- debut Yell Fire!, which was inspired by his travels to the war-torn area - has been praised for his commitments to peace, tolerance and co-existence from journalists and formal and informal leaders throughout the globe.

Franti and Spearhead will celebrate the success of their breakthrough 2006 Anti- debut Yell Fire! by releasing a live, digital-only version of the acclaimed disc this October. In advance of its extensive U.S. autumn tour, the group is currently at work with producer Matt Wallace (The Replacements, Faith No More, John Hiatt) on its next album, due via Anti- in 2008.