Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International   |   July 17, 2002 at 3:00 AM   |   0 comments

PHIL AND FRIENDS MAKE MAGIC

Grateful Dead fans are buzzing over the spectacular performances being delivered by former GD bassist Phil Lesh's band, Phil Lesh and Friends, on the current summer tour.

During a show at Garden State Arts Center in Woodbridge, N.J., regular guitarists Warren Haynes and Jimmy Herring were joined onstage by Derek Trucks for an epic version of the Allman Brothers' "Blue Sky." All three of the guitarists have been playing with the Brothers in recent years, continuing a tradition of amazing jams between these two organizations dating back to the 1960s, when the late Duane Allman and Jerry Garcia were the guitar stars.

At Jones Beach, the band was joined by Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, who sat in for the first half hour of the show, a spectacular mini-set that ran uninterrupted from "Liberty" into "Road Runner" and "Not Fade Away."

Reid Genauer from Strangefolk then joined the group to sing "Friend of the Devil," with additional lyrics from composer Robert Hunter: "You could borrow from the devil, you could borrow from your friend, the devil gives you 20, but your friend has only 10..." With Friends like Phil's the devil can keep his money.


LOS LOBOS TO SEND GREETINGS

Los Lobos has been hired to provide music for a new television series, "Greetings From Tucson." The band has been signed to write an original theme song for the series and write incidental music to accompany the comedy show about a Latino family, which is scheduled for broadcast on the WB network on Friday nights this fall.

"I couldn't think of a more fitting band than Los Lobos to be our partner on 'Greetings From Tucson'," said WB entertainment president Jordan Levin. "Having a band of their caliber write an original theme song and score the entire series will add another unique voice to this ground-breaking series."

Los Lobos has an extensive history making soundtracks, including the Grammy-winning score to the 1995 film "Desperado," and the soundtrack to "La Bamba," the 1987 biography of singer Richie Valens, which hit the top spot on the Billboard charts. Los Lobos is currently on tour in support of a new album, "Good Morning Aztlan."


PEARL JAM ON DECK

Epic records has scheduled Pearl Jam's seventh album for a Nov. 19 release date. The band plans to play some live shows this year in support of the album, which still is untitled. A world tour is in the works for 2003. Pearl Jam has yet to decide if the band will release the live shows on individual compact discs as they did on the last tour, but a collection of rarities is planned for release next year.


ROCKIN' THE POCONOS

Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Deep Banana Blackout, Jazz Is Dead with special guest Vince Welnick and the North Mississippi All Stars are the main attractions for the 7th Annual Pocono Gathering on the Mountain on Aug. 17 and 18. The event, which will take place at the Big Boulder Ski Area, also features ekoostik hookah, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Lorin Rowan and Rattlebox, David Nelson Band, and the Wailers. Big Boulder will also host the Pocono Blues Festival on August 3-4 and the Biker's Rally on Aug. 10-11.


BEATLES HIT 40

Miramax Home Entertainment will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' first single, "Love Me Do" with the Sept. 24 release of a two-disc DVD of the band's 1964 film "A Hard Day's Night."

Along with the original feature will be "Give Me Everything," a new "companion anthology" to the film, and a new half-hour documentary, "Things They Said Today..." The VHS version of the title only will include the documentary as a bonus.

For the release, "A Hard Day's Night" has been digitally enhanced from the original 35mm negative, as has the mono soundtrack. The DVD also features 30 interviews with cast and crew members and Beatles associates including director Richard Lester, musical director George Martin, screenwriter Alun Owen, and actors John Junkin and Victor Spinetti.

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