World

Dobet Gnahoré In Support of the Global Education Fund at The Boulder Theater

Dobet Gnahore- for the Grateful Web

Celtic Music meets West Africa. Musicians from 6 countries in the Celtic fringes of Europe and the West coast of Africa join together to play the most original live world fusion sound around. The spirit of the music lives in the rhythm. All Baka Beyond's rhythms are played by human beings not machines!

The minute Dobet Gnahoré (pronounced DOH-bay gna-OR-ay) steps onto the stage, it is obvious she is something special. She exudes an inner strength and commanding presence that draws you in, even before she has opened her mouth to sing. Once Dobet does begin to sing, her voice is filled with emotion and range. She moves from heartfelt ballads to funky, danceable songs with ease, and is comfortable performing in a wide range of African styles. Eventually, Dobet begins to dance, and the true depth of her talent shines through. She jumps across the stage like an acrobat, a soulful tornado of movement who astounds the audience with her moves. Just 24 years old, Dobet Gnahoré has got it all – an exceptional voice, amazing dance skills and the engaging aura reserved for artistic greats. After masterful performances across Europe and the United States, she has become one of African music's most exciting young talents.

Global Education Fund Reception - 5:

Global Education Fund Reception will feature a talk and video on their upcoming work with educational needs of orphaned and vulnerable children in Kenya. Global Education Fund (GEF) is a nonprofit charitable organization working to see that books get in to the hands of the most needy children in the world. To date we have sent book aid to children living in orphanages and remote villages in twenty-one countries.

To buy tickets or for more information, please visit the Boulder Theater's website:  The Boulder Theater

YARD DOGS ROAD SHOW ON TOUR IN AUGUST

- for the Grateful Web

The Yard Dogs Road Show is a hobo cabaret, a living patchwork of vaudeville and rock and roll. Last spring they sauntered through the Northwest with their Cabaret Blitz! Tour.  Most recently, the troupe left Oregon Country Fair audiences breathless. This month, the Yard Dogs will return to the Northwest at intimate venues in select cities, performing with Louisiana's restless musical storyteller Gill Landry at Seattle's Triple Door and Portland's Doug Fir Lounge (www.myspace.com/gilllandry). In addition, the Yard Dogs Road Show will share the stage once again with Portland's own Vagabond Opera, this time in Boise, for a late-night shebang with New Belgium Brewery's Tour De Fat (www.vagabondopera.com).

Yard Dogs Road Show are pure visual and sonic voodoo. It's a true story on stage: sword swallowers, dancing dolls, fire eaters and sunset hobo poetry - all animated by the live sounds of the Yard Dogs cartoon heavy band. Born from the saloon vaudeville that toured the Wild West in the late 1800's and slammed into the underworld of modern American road culture. The Yard Dogs create a timeless space for the union of ancient theatrical alchemy and modern pop culture.

Current west coast confirmed show details are as follows:

Sunday, August 12th and Monday, August 13th

Triple Door

w/ Gill Landry

216 Union Street, Seattle

Tickets $20.00 Advance, $22.00 DOS / All Ages Welcome

For more information please visit www.tripledoor.com

Saturday, August 18th and Sunday, August 19th

Doug Fir Lounge

w/ Gill Landry

830 East Burnside Street, Portland

Tickets $15.00 Advance, $17.00 DOS / Ages 21 + Welcome

For more information please visit www.dougfirlounge.com

Saturday, August 25th

The Bouquet

Co-headlining w/ Vagabond Opera

1010 West Main Street , Boise

Tickets $12.00 / All Ages Welcome

New Belgium Tour De Fat after-party

For more information please visit www.thebouquet.net

Look for Yard Dogs Road Show on the East Coast this fall.  Visit www.madisonhousepublicity.com

With the publication of his book, Hobo: A Young Man's Thoughts on Trains and Tramping in America (Random House / 2003), straw boss and founding member Eddy Joe Cotton and the Yard Dogs Road Show surfaced into the mainstream media, including recent recognition in SPIN Magazine. As the San Francisco Weekly reviewed, "Many wandering youngsters identify with the label "tramp artist," but few have taken it to the top-hat perfection quite like Eddy Joe Cotton…[Eddy] and the Yard Dogs Road Show do their neo-vaudeville thing the only way it should be: with flash, panache and an underlying sense of menace."

Bringing rock & roll to theatre and theatre to rock & roll, Yard Dogs Road Show has collaborated with Teatro Zinzanni, Cirque Du Soleil, and Burning Man and have performed such renowned festivals as Bonnaroo, Vegoose, Oregon Country Fair and Wakarusa.

There is some speculation as to the origin of the Yard Dogs Road Show.  Not for the want of mystery but for the difficulty in translating an experience that was navigated by the overly-romantic and sleep deprived. Shows came and went leaving very little time to fully comprehend what was going on.  Some say the carnival-inspired performance art of the Yard Dogs Road Show began as a three piece jug band performing in road houses and dance halls and at informal gatherings, including Oregon's modern day acid tests with Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters. Some say they traveled in a 1967 Ford Galaxy 500 and the evolution of their show revealed itself in the flames of a campfire on Dog Creek Road: dancing dolls with feather fans, an hombre in silver sunglasses eating fire, a dreamy guitar boy with golden locks, a bearded swami capable of conjuring the supernatural. Others say this story is complete hogwash and it was actually the brainchild of a unemployed "cowboy" and his faithful muse – transient artists with an incredible talent for brainstorming impossible ideas while under the influence of poppy tea and wishful thinking.  By chance these conversations were overheard by an ambitious young poet who decided to actualize them for the sake of all impossible dreams everywhere.

Either way, that was seven years ago, and the unlikely troupe of gypsies has been performing on stages ever since.

KRANNERT CENTER'S WALL TO WALL GUITAR FESTIVAL

photo by Sanjay Suchak- for the Grateful Web

The return of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts' biennial Wall to Wall Guitar Festival erupts September 13-15, 2007. This three-day festival rejoices in all things guitar in a nearly-round-the-clock celebration and exploration of an instrument that holds an essential place in almost every musical tradition around the globe. The Wall to Wall Guitar Festival, Take Two , boasts over 30 diverse musicians, from as close as Krannert's Central Illinois backdoor all the way to the deep south, Hawaii, and beyond. International artists taking part call places like India, Scotland, Spain, France, and Iraq home, but for three days this fall, they'll all reside in this teeming guitar bazaar filled with uncommon collaborations, unbelievable legends, and undeniable energy.

Building upon the intense momentum of the 2005 inaugural festival, Wall to Wall, Take Two, promises an even greater breadth of genres, variety of activities, and capacity for unexpected moments. There will be nine mainstage concerts (most with multiple billings), six free performances in the Krannert Center lobby, the return of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, GarageBand workshops presented by Apple Computer, guitar workshops at local music stores, Guitar Hero competitions (including a VIP competition on opening night), exhibits at Techline and the Center for American Music, a Krannert Center Youth Series performance, and numerous opportunities to dive into the instrument through commentaries, discussions, and interactive workshops—all assembled by Krannert Center's director Mike Ross and his staff, in collaboration with the festival's artistic advisor, David Spelman . Spelman, the founder/director of the New York Guitar Festival . Spelman, who will also help launch the Adelaide International Guitar Festival in South Australiathis year, says he vividly remembers the "impromptu collaborations" that evolved in the 2005 festival, and expects "Wall to Wall, Take Two, to be even more exciting and full of surprises."

The 2007 featured players include an all-star opening night line-up of Toubab Krewe, Sonny Landreth with Cindy Cashdollar  (a 2005 participant), Campbell Brothers, The Yohimbe Brothers (with returnee Vernon Reid ), Bob Brozman , and Led Kaapana . They are joined for this three-day immersion by Rahim AlHaj, Pierre Bensusan, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Tim Brookes, Shawn Colvin, The Delta Kings, Ed Gerhard, Alex de Grassi, Buddy Guy, Fareed Haque, Goran Ivanovic, Jorma Kaukonen, Kaki King (another W2W alum), Los Lobos, Harry Manx, John McLaughlin , Tony McManus, North Mississippi Allstars, Paul O'Dette, The Romeros , composer Phil Kline , Dan Zanes (also a second-timer), and Natalia Zukerman .

Partners like Apple Computer and iTunes will bring the festival even closer through podcasted interviews with artists, special festival downloads, and opportunities to listen to music and readings from Wall to Wall musicians. Regular updates will be posted at WalltoWallGuitar.com. Single tickets and festival passes are on sale June 29 at 10am. Festival passes include all nine mainstage events; passes must be purchased by July 20 for priority seating. Festival pass prices range from $103 for students to $216 for standard admission.Tickets for individual shows will also be available for purchase.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:

Wall to Wall Guitar Festival Opening Night Party
Toubab Krewe, Sonny Landreth with Cindy Cashdollar, Campbell Brothers, The Yohimbe Brothers with Vernon Reid and DJ Logic, Bob Brozman, Led Kaapana
Thursday, September 13 at 7pmLobby and Amphitheatre, $5

It's all about the mix—this teeming guitar bazaar—this surging, pulsing open market of eating and dancing and mingling and listening and rocking and laughing—it's here...it's now...it's in the moment! Experience five live performances, outdoor food vendors, the Wall to Wall Studio Theatre Store, Guitar Hero competitions, and more–there's even free coffee to keep the crowd going on into the night.

Blending Mali's desert blues with Surf and "Dirty South" influences into a genre all its own, Toubab Krewe sets a "new standard for fusions of rock 'n' roll and West African music," says Banning Eyre at Afropop Worldwide. This instrumental quintet developed its unique sound over the course of extended stays in West Africa, immersing itself in the culture, studying, and performing with masters. Toubab Krewe will take the stage at 7pm in the lobby.

Eric Clapton calls Sonny Landreth "probably the most underestimated musician on the planet." The New York Times calls him "a musician who has deeply investigated his instrument without leaving his roots." Come witness the bottleneck slide and thumbpicking that have garnered such esteem. Hear the percussive guitar playing that burst from his southern Louisiana heritage and forged a sound all his own en route to becoming the acclaimed "King of Slydeco." Those who want to go to school on slide guitar can pick up Cindy Cashdollar 's definitive 2004 Slide Show . Several of the artists who joined this five-time Grammy winner on that recording will be in town for the second W2W festival. At 8pm Sonny Landreth Band and Ms. Cashdollar will take the stage in the lobby.

When such musicians as Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin ushered gospel into secular concert halls, much African-American sacred music burst forth from sanctuaries and poured into the streets. Only recently has that phenomenon occurred for the "Sacred Steel" repertoire of Holiness-Pentecostal gospel vocals and electric steel guitar. Their 2004 National Heritage Fellowship placed the Campbell Brothers squarely at the forefront of this emergence. "With pedal steel guitar lines swooping skyward like a gospel shouter; two Campbell brothers trade off leads, carrying the songs to peak after peak," writes Jon Pareles in the New York Times , while Andy Grigg in Real Blues writes that brother Chuck is "the Jimi Hendrix and the Django Reinhardt of the steel guitar." Don't miss the Campbell Brothers lobby performance at 9pm .

An All About Jazz review characterized the Yohimbe Brothers album The Tao of Yo as "hard rock psycho-turntabulism that pushes the envelope," and that's a good way to begin to get a handle on what these musicians are all about. The "brothers" are Vernon Reid of the rock band Living Colour, who returns following a blistering appearance at the first Wall to Wall festival, and turntablist DJ Logic, whose jazz collaborators have included Joshua Redman, John Scofield, and Medeski Martin and Wood. Amazon describes the Brothers' first recorded venture, Front End Lifter , as a "potent blend of hip-hop, electronica, circus music, blues and soul, dub reggae, and, as is to be expected, full-tilt rock & roll." The Yohimbe Brothers will keep the night going strong as they take the stage at 10pm in the lobby.

Bob Brozman has been called "a walking archive of 20th–century American music." A Blues in London interview began, "Spoken of with reverence by slide guitarists around the world, Bob Brozman is more than a virtuoso." Asked what led him to champion National guitars over the years, Brozman responded, "a National goes from a whisper to a roar, controlled by muscle action, which ideally is controlled by emotional feeling." Those emotions resulted in back-to-back wins in Guitar Player's Readers' Polls in both blues and slide guitar categories. At Krannert Center he celebrates Hawaiian slack key guitar for a performance with Led Kaapana , a master of the style who appeared on this year's Grammy-winning Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar—Live From Maui . Having grown up with no electricity on the black sand bay of Kalapana on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kaapana tells of backyard parties that lasted for days. "People played in shifts, taking over when somebody went to sleep. You'd fall asleep to the music, wake up...and the music was still playing." After 40 years as a professional musician, the music is still playing. Accompanying his slack key playing with an extraordinary baritone voice that can modulate to a leo ki`eki`e (falsetto), musical legend Kaapana will plant palms swaying in balmy breezes in the heartland evening during this outdoor concert from 7pm to 9pm.

Interval: The Goran Ivanovic and Fareed Haque Duo
Friday, September 14 at noon
Lobby, Free

Yes, it is true that Goran Ivanovic was born of a Serbian father and a Bosnian Croat mother...and that Fareed Haque was born of a Pakistani father and a Chilean mother...but that's just the beginning of their musical lineage. Ivanovic studied at Salzburg's Mozarteum with Eliot Fisk and Joaquin Clerch. Haque has performed with Sting, the classical violinist Kennedy, Cassandra Wilson, Kurt Elling, Arturo Sandoval, Ramsey Lewis, Edgar Meyer, Paquito D'Rivera, and members of the Vermeer Quartet. Strains of classical, pop, jazz, Latin, blues, and world music simmer in the haunting laments and propulsive dances of their "Macedonian blues for two guitars." When Acoustic Guitar magazine asked how the duo could reinvent their work at every performance, Haque replied simply, "Trust," and then went on to elaborate, "Hopefully, when Goran and I play, people will get excited...forget that it's classical and just think it's fun." The man the Chicago Tribune calls "lightning-fingered guitarist Goran Ivanovic" added, "It should always be a new beginning." Join us for one such "new beginning."

Singer/Songwriter
Shawn Colvin, Natalia Zukerman
Friday, September 14 at 2pm
Tryon Festival Theatre
Flex: 33 / SC & Stu 28 / UI & Yth 18
Single: 35 / SC & Stu 30 / UI & Yth 20
Five Star: 30 / SC & Stu 25 / UI & Yth 15

Before winning Grammys for "Song of the Year" and "Record of the Year," before guesting on "The Simpsons," before performing multiple Lilith Fair stints, and before singing duets with Tony Bennett...before all that, Shawn Colvin's first public concert—at age 15—took place at the University of Illinois, home to Krannert Center. Now her amazingly versatile voice and melancholy guitar return triumphant. Oft compared to Joni Mitchell, an early idol of hers, singer/songwriter Colvin has transitioned from what she calls her "prolonged adolescence" into the maturity of a fully accomplished artist—the maturity of what Rolling Stone calls her "Raymond Carver-esque short-story songs." Colvin emerges as a clear-eyed and warm-hearted storyteller, leavening even her toughest tales with tenderness and empathy and offering musical arrangements understated enough to allow her lyrics to sink in.

In liner notes on a recent CD, Natalia Zukerman offers what would seem to be the customary thanks to her family, saying they hold her up, push, love and inspire her. Such a family nod is anything but customary, however, when your grandfather played clarinet in Klezmer bands in Poland, your sister Arianna sings opera, and your parents are violinist/conductor Pinchas Zukerman and flutist/writer Eugenia Zukerman. Alas for the world of classical music, Natalia's early immersion worked a different sort of magic on her. "I didn't like getting dressed up and sitting in silence, rehearsing and playing the same piece the same way, over and over again." So she set aside her violin for a guitar to accompany her sultry, folkish vocals. "She can switch from scat to swoon in the course of a glissando," says The New Yorker . North American audiences have heard shades of Joni Mitchell with a dash of Janis Ian and a pinch of Tracy Chapman added to the mix. And oh that guitar! The New Yorker speaks of "nimble fingers capable of picking upward of thirty notes per measure," while fellow performer Andy Friedman says her "Delta-slide guitar can open a beer bottle with its teeth."

Traffic Jam: Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
Bob Brozman, Led Kaapana
Friday, September 14 at 5pm
Lobby, Free

Bob Brozman and Led Kaapana return for an encore appearance following their outdoor opening night performance. Brozman has been called "a walking archive of 20th–century American music." A Blues in London interview began, "Spoken of with reverence by slide guitarists around the world, Bob Brozman is more than a virtuoso." Asked what led him to champion National guitars over the years, Brozman responded, "a National goes from a whisper to a roar, controlled by muscle action, which ideally is controlled by emotional feeling." Those emotions resulted in back-to-back wins in Guitar Player's Readers' Polls in both blues and slide guitar categories. Asked not long ago what he had coming up, Brozman listed, "March sees the release of my new 'orchestra' world project, wherein I play 12-27 instruments myself for each song, all strings and percussion. March and April I will be in Australia, end of April to May in France and Germany. June in Hawaii, teaching Hawaiian music, July back in Italy for a summer tour, September a few US dates..."

Fortunately for us, one of those "few" dates in the states will be Krannert Center for Hawaiian slack key performance with Led Kaapana , a master of the style who appeared on this year's Grammy-winning Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar—Live From Maui . Having grown up with no electricity on the black sand bay of Kalapana on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kaapana tells of backyard parties that lasted for days. "People played in shifts, taking over when somebody went to sleep. You'd fall asleep to the music, wake up...and the music was still playing." After 40 years as a professional musician, the music is still playing. Accompanying his slack key playing with an extraordinary baritone voice that can modulate to a leo ki`eki`e (falsetto), musical legend Led Kaapana will plant palms swaying in balmy breezes in the heartland evening.

Global Guitar
Rahim AlHaj, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Pierre Bensusan
Friday, September 14 at 7pm
Foellinger Great Hall
Flex: 32 / SC & Stu 27 / UI & Yth 17
Single: 34 / SC & Stu 29 / UI & Yth 19
Five Star: 29 / SC & Stu 24 / UI & Yth 14

The oud, dating back 5,000 years to Mesopotamia, may be the ancestor of all stringed instruments, and Rahim AlHaj is one of the world's leading performers on it. Before having to flee his native Baghdad as a result of his anti-Saddam activities, AlHaj studied under Munir Bashir, considered by many to be the greatest oud player ever. In exile AlHaj passes on the tradition through teaching and performance, both as a solo artist and accompanied by a string quartet. "My mission is to bring out the spiritual meaning that lies behind the notes. My music is not to entertain, but to communicate compassion, love, and peace," says AlHaj. "To me music is the medium to talk to God."

Surely his parents were prophetic when they named him Vishwa Mohan, which translates as "world charmer." He was invited to perform at Royal Albert Hall for the 100th anniversary of the acclaimed BBC Proms and at Madison Square Garden for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. In 1994 he and Ry Cooder won a Best World Music Grammy for A Meeting by the River, improvisations recorded in one evening without rehearsal. The Hindustan Times calls Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt "the most popular Indian artist abroad." One of the great Ravi Shankar's earliest pupils, Bhatt was initially brought to the world's attention for his Indianization of the Hawaiian guitar, reworking it to create the 19-stringed instrument known today as the mohan veena – "mohan" acknowledging his paternity and "veena" being Sanskrit for "stringed instrument."  (Look for fellow Wall to Wall performer Harry Manx also to shine on the mohan veena.)

A steel-string acoustic guitarist might seem unlikely to become a jazz player of the first order. Jazz performers generally prefer electric guitars or nylon-stringed acoustics to get through their gymnastic chord positions and quick runs. One look at Pierre Bensusan onstage, barring chords while stretching five, sometimes six frets, is usually enough to stop even the most well-versed jazz aficionado cold. Add to this the man's accomplishments as composer and improvisational vocalist, who melds whistles and resonant low notes with something like his own scat technique, and you've got a phenom! Born in Algeria and raised in Paris, he signed his first recording contract at 17. The next year saw him debut at Switzerland's Montreux Jazz Festival and also saw his first album, Près de Paris, win the Grand Prix du Disque. Jazziz says, "'Spirited' is the word that perhaps best sums up Bensusan's performance. His message is articulate and delivered with an unmistakable joie de vivre." And France's L'Arche calls his music "infinitely poetic and celestial. A hymn to humanity."

Los Lobos
Friday, September 14 at 10pm
Tryon Festival Theatre
Flex: 37 / SC & Stu 32 / UI & Yth 22
Single: 39 / SC & Stu 34 / UI & Yth 24
Five Star: 34 / SC & Stu 29 / UI & Yth 19

They've been together since the late 70s, touring as the opening act for Dylan and the Grateful Dead and headlining their own shows. If you haven't heard them, perhaps you could be forgiven for thinking of these multi-Grammy winners as "Just Another Band from East L.A." (as one of their CDs puts it), despite the fact that their "La Bamba," a single from the soundtrack of the Ritchie Valens biopic, landed at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100, one of the rare non-English US chart-toppers.

Reviewers from The Boston Herald to Metacritic chose The Town and the City as one of the top ten CDs of the past year. In announcing their top ten selection for World Cafe's list, NPR host David Dye wondered aloud whether after three decades Los Lobos hadn't said everything it had to say. No, he answered himself, the group latches on to its material "with subtlety and characteristic intelligence, a gift for storytelling and irresistible beats. Of course, it helps to have one of the best guitarists around in David Hidalgo." Rolling Stone echoes Dye's assessment: "With the exception of U2, no other band has stayed on top of its game as long as Los Lobos."

Afterglow: North Mississippi Allstars
Friday, September 14 around midnight
Lobby, Free

Having grown up immersed in a musical culture as rich as the black Mississippi dirt (a musical culture that showcased RL Burnside, Otha Turner, and Junior Kimbrough), brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson joined up with Chris Chew to form the core of the North Mississippi Allstars. From playing and shaking it down at local juke joints, they've taken their hill country, blues-infused rock 'n' roll to stages all over the country and on multiple tours to Europe and Asia. The New York Times called their Shake Hands with Shorty (Grammy-nominated for "Best Contemporary Blues Album") "reminiscent of the power blues of 60's rock acts like Cream, Steppenwolf, and Jimi Hendrix, but with the postmodern electricity of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and the exploratory lust of jambands like Phish and Widespread Panic."

Family Fun
Dan Zanes and Friends
Saturday, September 15 at 10am
Colwell Playhouse
Flex: 18 / SC & Stu 13 / UI & Yth 8
Single: 20 / SC & Stu 15 / UI & Yth 10
Five Star: 15 / SC & Stu 10 / UI & Yth 5

Former Del Fuegos lead singer Dan Zanes is a rock 'n' roller who started a label for family music, brought great guests into the mix (Sheryl Crow, Suzanne Vega, the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir, Philip Glass, Aimee Mann, and Simon Kirke, the drummer for Bad Company, to name a few), sold a lot of records, and started touring the country. Dan and his troupe drag old-time songs kicking and screaming into the 21st century with the verve that won them this year's Grammy for "Best Musical Album for Children." In his appearance at the inaugural Wall to Wall festival, Dan Zanes had 'em up and dancing in the aisles. He returns with his "fun for all ages" celebration of good music and good times. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Interval: Ed Gerhard
Saturday, September 15 at 12:30pm
Lobby, Free

From sold out tours of Japan to festivals in Italy, Grammy Award-winning guitarist Ed Gerhard connects with international audiences via his distinctive combination of virtuosity and generosity...and a touch of humor thrown in for good measure. Known for gorgeous tone and compositional depth, in the space of a single concert Gerhard may switch from six-string to twelve-string to slide to Hawaiian lap steel, mesmerizing audience members with a song, cracking them up with an improvised joke, and then  immersing them in the depths of the next piece before they know it. His music is featured in the Ken Burns film Mark Twain . The Ed Gerhard Signature Model has become one of Breedlove's best-selling guitars and won Acoustic Guitar magazine's "Player's Choice Award." And Gerhard was recently awarded a Grammy for his arrangement and performance of "Moon River" on Henry Mancini: Pink Guitar.

Classic and Historic
Paul O'Dette, The Romeros
Saturday, September 15 at 2pm
Foellinger Great Hall
Flex: 28 / SC & Stu 23 / UI & Yth 13
Single: 30 / SC & Stu 25 / UI & Yth 15
Five Star: 25 / SC & Stu 20 / UI & Yth 10

By day he's a mild-mannered professor of lute at the Eastman School of Music who quietly enchants students; by night Paul O'Dette becomes an audience mesmerizer. While best known for his solo lute virtuosity, O'Dette routinely performs ensemble turns with the likes of Gustav Leonhardt, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, William Christie, Christopher Hogwood, and Tafelmusik. Highlights among his more than 100 solo and ensemble recordings include multiple "Record of the Year" nominations from Gramophone and Ovation , a Grammy for his CD of Purcell songs recorded with Sylvia McNair, and a Grammy nomination for his conducting. Scholarly mastery of the Baroque and early music repertoire thoroughly informs his playing.

Many year ago the patriarch of a Málaga family, Celedonio Romero, taught and then performed with his sons Celin, Pepe, and Angel. Today The Romeros consist of Pepe, Celin, Celino (Celin's son), and Lito (Angel's son). Spain's King Juan Carlos knighted brothers Pepe, Celin, and Angel, and The Romeros have been invited to perform at both the White House and the Vatican. This very special concert features historic instruments from The Romeros' own collection. Pepe Romero says, "We are so excited about this opportunity for the public to hear these wonderful instruments from our collection. We have spent many evenings at home playing them, comparing the sounds, marveling at the greatness of the makers, indulging ourselves! We will be playing guitars by Antonio de Torres, Santos Hernandez, Domingo Esteso, and Miguel Rodriguez I. These represent the core of the Spanish school of luthiers."

Traffic Jam: Harry Manx
Saturday, September 15 at 4pm
Lobby, Free

His album titles give a feel for the "Mysticssippi" flavor of Harry Manx's gospel-tinged vocals and Indian-inspired instrumentals. One album, consisting of live recordings from performances on three continents, is entitled Road Ragas . Another is West Eats Meet , and yet another is Mantras for Madmen , with "madmen" referring to artists and musicians. "The way I see it, blues is like the earth and Indian music is like the heavens," Manx says. "What I do is find the balance between the two." Striving for that balance finds him playing lap slide guitar one moment and tamboura the next, banjo followed by mohan veena. In the spirit of Miles Davis, Manx seeks that spiritual quality of abandonment in which the "silence between the notes says as much as the notes themselves."

Wood, Steel, and Beyond
Kaki King, Tony McManus, Alex de Grassi
Saturday, September 15 at 5pm
Tryon Festival Theatre
Flex: 30 / SC & Stu 25 / UI & Yth 15
Single: 32 / SC & Stu 27 / UI & Yth 17
Five Star: 27 / SC & Stu 22 / UI & Yth 12

The zeitgirl of instrumental acoustic guitar, Kaki King could hardly be expected to just stand still. Lately she's swapped out the acoustic for an electric, a lap steel, and unexpectedly, her own voice. Still fully capable of jaw-dropping pyrotechnics, King is self-assured and irreverent but not afraid to be vulnerable and disarmingly sweet. Reviewing a recent CD, The Advocate said that "You Don't Have to Be Afraid" offered an eight-minute "wave of chiming, textured melody that will bring you as close to bliss as you're likely to feel anytime soon." And reviewing a recent concert, The New York Times said King's earlier "percussive, super-fluid style" was "the kind of thing that makes people say 'Wow' as an involuntary reflex," going on to note, "now she's making music that more often sounds like the abstract, dreamy and hypnotic end of alternative rock."

Largely self-taught, Alex de Grassi's musical sensibility results from multiple influences. Born in Japan and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, he developed an early love of music from his father (a classically trained pianist) and his mother (a jazz aficionado). "The two recordings I heard the most as a child were Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 and the Louis Armstrong/Ella Fitzgerald version of Porgy and Bess." Today The Washington Post speaks of de Grassi's "one man guitar duets," while DownBeat says "his touch is as exquisite as his lyricism." The Los Angeles Times calls him "an acoustic guitarist of virtuosic strength and ability." The Wall Street Journal gets the last word, though, when it calls his playing "flawless." Not a bad set of clippings for this player who roams stages from Carnegie Hall to the Montreux Jazz Festival with his acoustic folk/jazz stylings.

When "All Star Guitar Night" was being planned for Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium, it was only natural that Scotsman Tony McManus got a call asking him to come over. Acoustic Guitar calls him "a master of the idiom," the BBC's Radio Scotland proclaims him "the finest guitarist Scotland has ever produced," and the Sunday Mail describes his playing with such accolades as "truly sublime" and "beautifully effervescent." WORT-FM in Madison, Wisconsin, exclaims that "McManus elevates and ultimately transcends the genre" of finger-style guitar, calling his work "stunning." Known as "Mr. McMonster" in honor of his ferocious technique, McManus ranges across a musical landscape that includes works as diverse as the plaintive Jewish hymn "Shalom Aleichem" and the Charles Mingus composition "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat." 

John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension
Saturday, September 15 at 7pm
Colwell Playhouse
Flex: 38 / SC & Stu 33 / UI & Yth 23
Single: 40 / SC & Stu 35 / UI & Yth 25
Five Star: 35 / SC & Stu 30 / UI & Yth 20

Verve Records says that if this "British improviser had decided to retire in 1980, he still would have gone down in history as one of jazz-rock's most influential axmen." Miles Davis, a man who flat-out knew how to break new ground, relied on McLaughlin in such groundbreaking fusion works as In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew . With his own groups, The Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti, McLaughlin continued his musical explorations, moving on to two recordings of an acoustic guitar summit with Al DiMeola and Paco de Lucia and a classical album with the London Symphony Orchestra. "I'm an eternal learner," McLaughlin says. "I don't want to stop learning because I feel that no matter what I've done, I'm really just beginning again."

Evening Blues
Jorma Kaukonen with Cindy Cashdollar, Buddy Guy
Saturday, September 15 at 9:30pm
Tryon Festival Theatre
Flex: 35 / SC & Stu 30 / UI & Yth 20
Single: 37 / SC & Stu 32 / UI & Yth 22
Five Star: 32 / SC & Stu 27 / UI & Yth 17

As a teen Jorma Kaukonen fell in love with roots music. He and buddy Jack Casady haunted the blues, jazz, and bluegrass clubs of Washington, D.C. In college he worked to develop elaborate fingerstyle fretwork after the fashion of Rev. Gary Davis. Then Kaukonen's passion took a backseat for a bit as he and Casady and a few others formed a rock band in San Francisco. They named the fledgling band after his nickname and did well enough—well enough, that is, to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as Jefferson Airplane, defining psychedelic rock for a generation. That early passion for roots music jumped from the backseat into the driver's seat when he and Casady formed yet another group, Hot Tuna. Now, dozens of albums on, Kaukonen tours and records both with Hot Tuna and as a solo act. He's joined for Evening Blues by Wall to Wall favorite Cindy Cashdollar .

Back in the day, Jimi Hendrix was known to cancel concerts so that he could hear Buddy Guy perform at a nearby club. Rod Stewart was valet on Guy's first trip to England. In sweet home Chicago, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Sonny Boy Williamson depended on him as their first-call session man in the Chess Records stable. Looking back, Eric Clapton simply observes, "Buddy Guy was to me what Elvis was for others." Raised on a plantation, the son of a sharecropper, Buddy Guy reflects on his music and his life by noting, "I'm from Louisiana, where nothing is ever too spicy or too hot.'' He's a musician's musician and a showman's showman all the way from Damn Right, I've Got the Blues to his recent box-set release Can't Quit the Blues .

Wrap-up Afterglow with The Delta Kings
Saturday, September 15, about 11:30pm
Lobby, Free

Before we call it a wrap, let's bring it on home with the boys from back home—CU's very own Delta Kings. They're bad, they're mad, and they're consistently voted one of the best local bands in Champaign-Urbana. Check out The Delta Kings' rockin' blues with an occasional twang!

FREE ACTIVITIES:

Creative Intersections: Get More for Less, Experience Free Activities Surrounding the Festival

GarageBand Workshop
Dates and Times TBA
Krannert Center, Free

Apple's GarageBand software lets you create, perform, and record your own music, no matter what your level of expertise. Whether you're a seasoned or aspiring musician, or just want to feel and sound like a rock star, GarageBand lets you easily record multiple tracks at the same time, sing as you play the guitar, harmonize with your best singing bud, or jam with the band. And when your tracks are in place, you can view software instruments in music notation and take advantage of GarageBand features to enhance the tuning and timing of your recordings.

World on a String Premiere
Thursday, September 6 at 3:30pm
Stage 5, Free

Over the years thousands of performers have "played" Krannert Center, but composer, performer, and installation artist Phil Kline will be the first to actually play Krannert Center with the world premiere of World on a String , which turns Krannert's vast lobby into a meta-instrument, one humongous guitar. Kline says of his commissioned composition and installation, "Yeats wrote of 'a laughing string whereon mad fingers play.' That sounds right. I have heard them laugh, and I have also heard them cry, moan, and squawk. Sometimes they roar. It all depends on how you excite them. That's the technical term for a string's vibration: excitement. It's in the way that you use it, whether it's struck, plucked, caressed, or bent."

Guitar Workshop
Saturday, September 8 at time TBA
CV Lloyde Music Shop, Free

Michael Kammin, guest instructor, leads participants in two sessions of lessons focusing on tuning techniques and other facets of playing. There will be separate sessions for youth and adults.

Vintage Instrument Display
Wednesday-Friday, September 12-14 from 9am to 5pm; Saturday, September 15 from 10am to 5pm
Techline (24 E Green St, Champaign), Free

View a private collection of vintage instruments, bring your own instrument for show-and-tell, and join in musical jam sessions. Banjos, guitars, mandolins, and mandocellos find a home for two days in the Techline showroom. Some of the instruments on display will be available for purchase.

John Lennon Educational Tour Bus
Thursday, September 13 from 6pm to 11pm and Saturday, September 15 from 10am to 4pm
On Goodwin Street in front of Krannert Center, Free

A mobile recording and video production studio outfitted with the latest musical instruments, computers, recording equipment, and video production gear, the John Lennon Bus provides students, schools, and communities with a free, hands-on introduction to music, songwriting, video, and broadcast technologies. The John Lennon Bus will be stationed at Krannert Center's Goodwin Street entrance throughout the Wall to Wall Guitar Festival. Tent activities are open each day of the festival. The bus will be open for tours.

The Eddie Alkire Collection
Thursday, September 13 at 1pm
Sousa Archive, Center for American Music
236 Harding Band Building, 1103 South Sixth Street, Champaign
Free; tickets required due to limited capacity

Eddie Alkire began life in a coal mining town in West Virginia but after learning electronics and guitar via correspondence courses, he eventually became a pioneer in guitar design, teaching, tuning, and composition, and a 1983 inductee into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. The Sousa Archives at the U of I now house five of his instruments including three of his signature Eharp steel guitars. Brozman and Kaapana, both recognized as legends of the Hawaiian guitar, will put their talents to work on these archival instruments dating from 1932 to 1972, all tuned up using Alkire's own unique system.

TICKET INFORMATION

Wall to Wall Guitar Single Tickets and Festival Passes
Single tickets and festival passes are on sale June 29 at 10am. Festival passes include all nine mainstage events; passes must be purchased by July 20 for priority seating.
Festival  Pass : $216 / SC & Stu 176/ UI & Yth 103

Ticket Office Information
Phone:
 217/333-6280 or 800/KCPATIX (527-2849)
TTY:  217/333-9714 (for patrons who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech-impaired)
Fax:   217/244-7469
Online:  KrannertCenter.com or WalltoWallGuitar.com
E-mail: kran-tix@uiuc.edu

Mail:  Krannert Center Ticket Office
500 South Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, Illinois 61801-3788

In person:  Visit the Krannert Center Ticket Office at 500 South Goodwin Avenue in Urbana, Illinois, anytime daily from 10am to 6pm.

General Ticket Information/Key to Ticket Prices
SC        =          Senior citizen, 65 years or older or retired University of Illinois faculty and staff
UI         =          University of Illinois students who have paid the Krannert Center fee
Stu       =          Students: All students college-age or younger
Yth       =          Youth: All children high school-age or younger

Credits

Krannert Center's Wall to Wall Guitar Festival, Take Two, is supported in part by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and these sponsors:
Federal Grant: National Endowment for the Arts
National Media Partner: iTunes
Community Lead Festival Partners: Apple, Busey Bank, Fox Development Corporation, One
Main Development
Additional Festival Support: Historic Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center, JSM Development,
Yellow Book USA
Private Foundation: The Augustine Foundation
Patron Sponsors: Judy and Daniel Dethmers, Mary and George Perlstein
Patron Co-sponsors: Frances and Marc Ansel, Shirley and Arthur Traugott, Mary and B. Joseph White, Anonymous
Corporate Silver Sponsors: Hendrick House, RATIO Architects, Inc., WBCP 1580 AM
Corporate Bronze Sponsors: ArchiTextures Design Center, Bacca Cigar Company, Barham Benefit Group, Jeffrey and Valerie Van Buren of Wachovia Securities, Kent and Pam Pettyjohn of Pettyjohn Builders

CALENDAR

Wall to Wall Guitar Festival, Take Two Calendar of Events

Th Sep 6           3:30pm          World on a String
                                             Phil Kline, composer

Tu Sep 11        1pm               The Eddie Alkire Collection
                                 Bob Brozman, Led Kaapana, Tim Brookes

We Sep 12        9am               Vintage Instrument Display (continues till 5pm daily from Sep 12-15)

Th Sep 13         6pm               John Lennon Educational Tour Bus

                         7pm               Wall to Wall Guitar Festival: Opening Night Party 
                                             Toubab Krewe, Sonny Landreth with Cindy Cashdollar, 
                                             Campbell Brothers, The Yohimbe Brothers with Vernon Reid 
                                             and DJ Logic, Bob Brozman, Led Kaapana

Fr Sep 14         12pm             Interval  
                                             Goran Ivanovic and Fareed Haque Duo

                         2pm               Singer/Songwriter
                                             Shawn Colvin and Natalia Zukerman

4pm               Traffic Jam
                                 Bob Brozman and Led Kaapana, Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar

                        7pm               Global Guitar     
                                             Rahim AlHaj, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Pierre Bensusan

                        10pm             Los Lobos

11:30pm         Wall to Wall Guitar Festival: Afterglow
North Mississippi Allstars

Sa Sep 15         10am              Family Fun        
                                              Dan Zanes and Friends

                        10am                John Lennon Educational Tour Bus                     

12:30pm            Interval
                                    Ed Gerhard

2pm                  Classic and Historic
                                    Paul O'Dette, The Romeros

4pm                  Traffic Jam
                                    Harry Manx

5pm                  Wood, Steel, and Beyond
                                    Kaki King, Tony McManus, and Alex de Grassi

7pm                  John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension 

9:30pm             Evening Blues
                                    Jorma Kaukonen with Cindy Cashdollar, Buddy Guy

11:30pm            Wrap–up Afterglow
                                    The Delta Kings

SOUL SKA PIONEERS THE PIETASTERS New Album, 'All Day'

photo courtesy of Madison House- for the Grateful Web

Soul-ska pioneers The Pietasters release their new studio album, All Day, on August 21, 2007 (Indication Records / RedEye USA).  The release marks the band's first release in five years.  Produced by Todd Harris (James Brown), All Day displays an impeccably refined Pietasters: soul-drenched and in fine songwriting form. Expect The Pietasters' signature sound of skankin' punk rhythms and raucous vocal rumblings slowed down and sticky thick with the sounds of early Motown and Jamaican soul. The result is subtly nostalgic and enticingly fresh, offering plenty for both longtime listeners and younger underground music fans who missed the ska scene on the first (or second and third) go 'round. Indeed, there is something truly timeless about ska music; and who better to remind us of that than The Pietasters?

"This record is a version of what a van ride with us would be like," says The Pietasters' bassist and songwriter Jorge Pezzimenti of their soul roots, rock and reggae-inspired new album. All Day captures the high energy, brotherly camaraderie and attention to detail on which they've built their rock-steady name as an explosive live attraction.

The Pietasters bring their high energy live show, and their new material, to venues coast to coast this summer.  The current list of confirmed show dates is as follows:

June 28 River Street Jazz Café Wilkes-Barre PA

June 29 Grog Shop Cleveland OH

June 30 Mr. Small's Theatre Pittsburgh PA

July 04 Asbury Lanes Asbury Park NJ

July 13 All Good Festival Masontown WV

July 20 The Whiskey Annapolis MD

July 21 The State Theatre Falls Church, VA

August 10 Royal Lake Park Fairfax VA

August 11 Martin's Downtown Roanoke VA

August 16 Rock and Blues Concert Cruise Boston MA

August 17 Valentines Albany NY

August 18 The Chance Loft Poughkeepsie NY

August 22 Peppermint Beach Club Virginia Beach VA

August 24 Cat's Cradle Carborro NC

August 25 Ska Weekend-Old City Knoxville TN

September 5 TBA Albuquerque NM

September 6 The Clubhouse Tempe AZ

September 8 Clark County Amphitheatre Las Vegas NV

More dates to be announced.

Traveling the miles along a star-kissed path, the first break came early for D.C.'s ska darlings, when The Pietasters landed a 1992 tour opening for ska originals, Bad Manners. In 1997, Rancid's Tim Armstrong signed them to Hellcat/Epitaph where they recorded two albums with producer Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion): the genre-defining Willis (SPIN Magazine called it "An equal opportunity dancehall crasher — part '60s keg rock, part 2Tone and part Motown") and Awesome Mix Tape #6 (CMJ noted it for "lacing a Stax shout-out feel with Caribbean rhythms"). The soul-charged Turbo was released in 2002 by Fueled by Ramen. The Pietasters shared bills with NOFX and Less Than Jake on the epic '98 and '99 Warped Tours, and followed with a stateside run with punk legend Joe Strummer. Hundreds of shows and three years later, they worked as James Brown's back-up band for one surreal evening. And their story is still unfolding. Not bad for a bunch of guys who started out as a teenaged underground band from D.C.

Michelle Shocked's New Album, ToHEAVENuRIDE

- for the Grateful Web

Live set pays tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Staple Singers and Billie Holiday; set includes traditional spirituals as well as and original several new original songs.

"Ask me about my religion," writes Michelle Shocked in her "womanifesto" for her forthcoming album. "Of course, no one ever does." But it's all part of her long musical journey: "I was moved by the power of rock 'n' roll. And if you follow the trail from rock 'n' roll, it always leads you back to the blues, sweet soul music and finally to the churches and gospel music." In Shocked's case, it led to the West Angeles COGIC mass choir in the heart of South Central Los Angeles, where she now tries "living by the Good Book, and putting out a gospel record."
  
The resulting album, titled (and spelled) ToHeavenURide, is scheduled for August 21, 2007 release on Mighty Sound through Megaforce/RED.
  
For this set, recorded live at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in June 2003, Grammy Award winner Shocked enlisted her Bay Area rhythm section, shanghaied Nick Forster (Hot Rize, etown) to play pedal steel and recruited the singing Dancys from New Greater Circle Mission Church in South L.A. for backing vocals and keyboards.
  
The marriage between the spirit of gospel music and the crisp Rocky Mountain air resulted in a rollicking performance. Shocked presents two songs by one of her greatest influences — Sister Rosetta Tharpe ("Strange Things Happening Every Day," "Ain't Gonna Study War No More.") Tharpe is called the "father — well, mother — of rockabilly" in the notes, and the songs are dedicated to her spirit. Also featured are "The Weight" by The Band and "Uncloudy Day" and "Wade in the Water" by the Staple Singers. Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child" is given the Shocked treatment. Finally, "We're Blessed" by Fred Hammond of the Detroit gospel group Commissioned, a modern gospel standard, is brought out of the churches.
  
Shocked also introduces includes four originals here (one is previously unreleased): "The Quality of Mercy" (originally written for the soundtrack of the film Dead Man Walking), "Good News" (commissioned by Greenpeace for the documentary Cancer Alley), "Psalm" (which prove the Psalms are a fertile source of the folk tradition) and "Can't Take My Joy" (combining gospel and reggae traditions with a nod to Bob Marley).
  
Although the songs were recorded at the 2003 Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Shocked's contract plainly stipulated "no recording." However, for a festival DVD project recorded that year, her set happened to be digitally stored on a ProTools file. It never occurred to Shocked to ask of the existence of such a recording, but it did occur to her new manager. So, in keeping in the tradition of inadvertent "field recordings" which — in the case of her debut album Texas Campfire Tapes — was made on the sneak, ToHeavenURide is another great Michelle Shocked field recording that almost never saw the light of day.
  
"Fifteen years ago, I was moved by a quote from the Rev. Martin Luther King: "It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o'clock on Sunday morning." One white girl attending a black church wasn't going to change the world or anything, right?" writes Shocked in her ToHeavenURide manifesto, but she decided to "take the mountain to Mohammad." "I was just going to check out a gospel choir, ya know? . . . Years later, on top of another mountain, the holy spirit erupted. And now here I am bringing it home to you."
  
"The Lord works in mysterious ways. Or at least that's been my experience."
 
Shocked embarks on a national tour in support of ToHeavenURide this Fall.

YARD DOGS ROAD SHOW ON TOUR IN MAY: CABARET BLITZ!

- for the Grateful Web

Fresh from a wildly successful European debut, the West's sexiest, surliest performance troupe hits the road this may for their Cabaret Blitz! tour. Then, catch them in Manchester, Tennessee this June for their Bonnaroo debut

Consider Yard Dogs Road Show's "Cabaret Blitz!" a polite challenge to all that is prevailing in American culture.  There is poetry everywhere and it must be acknowledged!  Collaborating for these shows with regional and local artists, the groups billed along this very special run represent a menagerie of west coast cabaret and circus arts.  Many of them have never shared the same stage.  They come with open hearts to engage a decorated and poetic civilization.  Dress code: A formal rendition of your inner carnival - something stitched and stunning and nearly falling off.

Born from the saloon vaudeville that toured the Wild West in the late 1800's and slammed into the underworld of modern American road culture, Yard Dogs Road Show create a timeless and surreal union of ancient theatrical alchemy and modern pop culture. It's a true story on stage: sword swallowers, dancing dolls, fire eaters and hobo sunset poetry - all animated by the live sounds of the Yard Dogs cartoon band. Yard Dogs Road Show is pure visual and sonic voodoo. The times have demanded it and here it is: "The new emergence of road show nobility."

Cabaret Blitz! Show dates include:
Fri May 4     Showbox              Seattle, WA w/ Circus Contraption
Sat May 5     Nightlight           Bellingham, WA w/ Dream Science Circus
Sun May 6     The Commodore        Vancouver, BC
                                   w/ Tarran the Tailor and the Ancient Rugged Revival
Mon May 7     Capitol Theater      Olympia, WA w/ Femme De Fabrique
Tue May 8     Wonder Ballroom      Portland, OR w/ March Fourth Marching Band
Wed May 9     McDonald Theater     Eugene, OR w/ Vagabond Opera
Thu May 10    Ashland Armory       Ashland, OR w/ Vagabond Opera
Sat May 12    Fillmore Auditorium  San Francisco, CA w/ Rosin Coven and others TBA
June 14-17    Bonnaroo Festival    Manchester TN

There is some speculation as to the origin of the Yard Dogs Road Show.  Not for the want of mystery but for the difficulty in translating an experience that was navigated by the overly-romantic and sleep deprived. Shows came and went leaving very little time to fully comprehend what was going on.  Some say the carnival-inspired performance art of the Yard Dogs Road Show began as a three piece jug band performing in road houses and dance halls and at informal gatherings, including Oregon's modern day acid tests with Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters. Some say they traveled in a 1967 Ford Galaxy 500 and the evolution of their show revealed itself in the flames of a campfire on Dog Creek Road: dancing dolls with feather fans, an hombre in silver sunglasses eating fire, a dreamy guitar boy with golden locks, a bearded swami capable of conjuring the supernatural . Others say this story is complete hogwash and it was actually the brainchild of a unemployed "cowboy" and his faithful muse – transient artists with an incredible talent for brainstorming impossible ideas while under the influence of poppy tea and wishful thinking.  By chance these conversations were overheard by an ambitious young poet who decided to actualize them for the sake of all impossible dreams everywhere.

Either way, that was seven years ago, and the unlikely troupe of gypsies has been performing on stages ever since.

With the publication of his book, Hobo: A Young Man's Thoughts on Trains and Tramping in America (Random House / 2003), straw boss and founding member Eddy Joe Cotton and the Yard Dogs Road Show surfaced into the mainstream media, including recent recognition in SPIN Magazine. Bringing rock & roll to theatre and theatre to rock & roll, they have collaborated with Teatro Zinzanni, Cirque Du Soleil, and Burning Man and have performed such renowned festivals as Vegoose, Oregon Country Fair and Wakarusa.

Inaugural Asheville Music Jamboree Announces Artists

Michael Franti - photo by P. Emma- for the Grateful Web

The inaugural Asheville Music Jamboree today announces the lineup for a music festival featuring more than thirty bands on two stages over three days June 1-3 at Deerfields Amphitheater. Located just outside of Asheville in Mills River, NC, the debut event features the musical talents of such noteworthy nationally-touring performers as Michael Franti & Spearhead, Keller Williams & the WMD's, The Avett Brothers, Donna the Buffalo, Acoustic Syndicate, Asheville's own Toubab Krewe along with dozens of additional acts.

Complementing its impressive headliners, the Asheville Music Jamboree also features appearances by Afromotive, The Booty Band, Barrel House Mamas, CX-1, Ménage, Jen & The Juice, Barefoot Manner, Ras Alan and The Lions, The Bridge, DJ Williams Projekt, Purple Schoolbus, Fifth House, Bombadil, Sol Driven Train, Artvandalay, Incognito Mosquito, Thacker Dairy Road, Possum Jenkins, The Lost Ridge Band and additional acts still to be added.

The climate, scenery and welcoming openness of the people of Asheville capture the hearts of poets, painters, princes and paupers alike.  Regardless of status or standing, people are drawn to the mountain community from across the nation, sharing their talents and ideas creating a cultural tapestry enormously rich in diversity and unrivaled beauty.

The Asheville Music Jamboree embraces that diversity and beauty inviting patrons from all walks of life to enjoy an eclectic mix of world-class musical entertainment while celebrating the unique sense of community among its intimate setting of rolling hills and bountiful apple orchards. Additionally, the event provides a wealth of interactive children's activities, varied cuisine alternatives, artistic crafts and wares, along with camping options in a subdued natural setting.

Music and dance devotees of all ages gather to make new friends and renew old relationships.  Children will laugh and sing and share and learn.  Couples will stroll by sparkling ponds as the festival's sounds and pageantry unfurl around them.  Families will tuck away their laptops and gaming systems to rediscover the simple pleasure of each other's company.

Everyone is invited to join the Jamboree and help create an event that mirrors the true attraction of Asheville: its picturesque scenery, unbridled talent, spirited discourse and limitless hospitality.

Gates open Friday, June 1 at 9 AM, and children 12 and under are free with paid parent admission. Tickets are available now via the festival website: www.amjam.net and are at the $95 level until April 8, the $110 level until May 15, and $125 at the gate. Tickets include primitive camping and vehicle camping is $35 in advance, $45 at the gate while RV camping is $75 in advance and $90 at the gate.

YARD DOGS ROAD SHOW PRESENTS: CABARET BLITZ!

Consider Yard Dogs Road Show's "Cabaret Blitz!" a polite challenge to all that is prevailing in American culture.  There is poetry everywhere and it must be acknowledged!  Collaborating for these shows with regional and local artists, the groups billed along this very special run represent a menagerie of west coast cabaret and circus arts.  Many of them have never shared the same stage.  They come with open hearts to engage a decorated and poetic civilization.  Dress code:  a formal outward expression of one's inner carnival.

Born from the saloon vaudeville that toured the Wild West in the late 1800's and slammed into the underworld of modern American road culture, Yard Dogs Road Show create a timeless and surreal union of ancient theatrical alchemy and modern pop culture. It's a true story on stage: sword swallowers, dancing dolls, fire eaters and hobo sunset poetry - all animated by the live sounds of the Yard Dogs cartoon band. Yard Dogs Road Show is pure visual and sonic voodoo. The times have demanded it and here it is: "The new emergence of road show nobility."

Cabaret Blitz! Show dates include:

Fri May 4     Showbox              Seattle, WA w/ Circus Contraption
Sat May 5     Nightlight           Bellingham, WA w/ Dream Science Circus
Sun May 6     The Commodore        Vancouver, BC w/ Tarran the Tailor & the Ancient Rugged Revival
Mon May 7     Capitol Theater      Olympia, WA w/ Femme De Fabrique
Tue May 8     Wonder Ballroom      Portland, OR March Fourth Marching Band
Wed May 9     McDonald Theater     Eugene, OR w/ Vagabond Opera
Thu May 10    Ashland Armory       Ashland, OR w/ Vagabond Opera
Sat May 12    Fillmore Auditorium  San Francisco, CA w/ Rosin Coven and others TBA

There is some speculation as to the origin of the Yard Dogs Road Show.  Not for the want of mystery but for the difficulty in translating an experience that was navigated by the overly-romantic and sleep deprived. Shows came and went leaving very little time to fully comprehend what was going on.  Some say the carnival-inspired performance art of the Yard Dogs Road Show began as a three piece jug band performing in road houses and dance halls and at informal gatherings, including Oregon's modern day acid tests with Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters. Some say they traveled in a 1967 Ford Galaxy 500 and the evolution of their show revealed itself in the flames of a campfire on Dog Creek Road: dancing dolls with feather fans, an hombre in silver sunglasses eating fire, a dreamy guitar boy with golden locks, a bearded swami capable of conjuring the supernatural . Others say this story is complete hogwash and it was actually the brainchild of a unemployed "cowboy" and his faithful muse – transient artists with an incredible talent for brainstorming impossible ideas while under the influence of poppy tea and wishful thinking.  By chance these conversations were overheard by an ambitious young poet who decided to actualize them for the sake of all impossible dreams everywhere. Either way, that was seven years ago, and the unlikely troupe of gypsies has been performing on stages ever since.

With the publication of his book, Hobo: A Young Man's Thoughts on Trains and Tramping in America (Random House / 2003), ringleader and founding member Eddy Joe Cotton and the Yard Dogs Road Show surfaced into the mainstream media, including recent recognition in SPIN Magazine. Bringing rock & roll to theatre and theatre to rock & roll, they have collaborated with Teatro Zinzanni, Cirque Du Soleil, and Burning Man and have performed such renowned festivals as Vegoose, Oregon Country Fair and Wakarusa. Look for the troupe on tour this spring/summer, including a coveted Bonnaroo play.

STAX REISSUES JOHNNIE TAYLOR'S LIVE ALBUM, ' LIVE AT THE SUMMIT CLUB'

Johnnie Taylor- for the Grateful Web

Johnnie Taylor, one of the greatest soul singers who ever lived, was at the peak of his game on September 23, 1972, when he sang to an effusive crowd at the now-defunct Summit Club in South Los Angeles. The show was captured on tape and will be reissued February 20 by Stax Records as Johnnie Taylor: Live at the Summit Club.

 
The live album, produced by Al Bell, the then-president of Stax Records, was recorded at the time of the historic two-day Wattstax concert at nearby Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  The Wattstax bill was filled, so Stax put many of its artists into nearby clubs where they were taped and filmed.

 
As well as including his biggest hits ("Who's Making Love," "Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone"), the album contains six previously unreleased tracks that emphasize the blues side of Taylor's repertoire. Label-mate Rufus Thomas said of Taylor in his introduction: "When you speak of blues, this is a man who knows 'em from the letter A to the letter Z."

 
Taylor recorded eight straight Top 10 R&B hits, though by 1971 he had been eclipsed by Isaac Hayes and the Staple Singers as the label's top hitmakers. Eventually he moved from Stax to Columbia, where he enjoyed one more big hit, "Disco Lady," before winding down his recording career at Malaco with steady work on the Chitlin' Circuit.

 
staxWhile this recording found Taylor was at the peak of his faculties, his band unfortunately was not in such top form. The musicians messed up again and again — not so much that the audience really noticed, though Taylor did chastise them from time to time. The flaws and the way Taylor handled them without interrupting the flow make for fascinating — and ultimately satisfying — listening. The Arkansas-born vocalist considered himself "a salesman of songs," and he wasn't about to allow adverse circumstances to prevent him from driving home the messages of six of his biggest hits (including two very different versions of "Steal Away") and extended treatments of the blues songs "Little Bluebird" and "Hello Sundown." Six of the nine performances on the reissue, which was produced by Stuart Kremsky, are entirely new to disc.

 
Concord Music Group, which acquired the legendary Memphis label as part of its purchase of Fantasy Records in 2004, will also honor Stax's 50th year by releasing definitive collections, rare performances, unreleased tracks and more from the Memphis R&B imprint in deluxe new packages. Plans for digital releases, remixes and other projects are also in the works; the anniversary year's releases are slated to include more than 20 CDs and DVDs.

 
In addition, Concord Music Group will reactivate Stax this year as a dynamic new force in contemporary R&B music committed to the continuing the legacy of the original legendary label. The first new Stax signings are Isaac Hayes, Angie Stone and Soulive.

Planet Drum To Tour Again

The Planet Drum 2006 Tour reunites Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, Sikiru Adepoju, and Giovanni Hidalgo for a September series of West Coast shows in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the ground-breaking album of that name.  Planet Drum was released in 1991 on the Rykodisc label and went on to earn the first-ever Grammy in the World Music category.  The tour is the groups first in almost a decade.  It also marks the resumption of an artistic relationship – between Mickey Hart and Zakir Hussain – that goes back to the late 1960s.