GOV'T MULE YEAR
Guitarist Warren Haynes and drummer Matt Abts celebrated the memory of their late partner, bassist Allen Woody, with two spectacular nights of music at New York's Beacon theater. Haynes, who also is featured in the Allman Brothers Band, is one of the greatest guitar players on the planet and he was in superb form on opening night.
Set one opened with the blues classic "If I had Possession Over Judgement Day" and included "Gameface," "No Need To Suffer," "Driving Rain," "Maggotbrain," "Doing it to Death," "Higher Ground," "World of Confusion" and "The Same Price." The first set ended with a cover of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man."
Set two really took off with the addition of George Porter Jr. on bass. The band smoked through "Rockin Horse," "Fallen Down," a medley of "Sailing Shoes" into "Spanish Moon" into "Cissy Strut" back into "Spanish Moon," "Hotntot," "ScoMule" featuring Jon Scofield, "Fools Moon" and "Sometimes Salvation." For the encore Mule did "30 Days in The Hole."
2003 YEAR OF THE BLUES
Last Sept. 5, Congress passed a resolution declaring 2003 the "Year of the Blues." The resolution "requests that the president issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe the 'Year of the Blues' with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and educational programs." Scheduled to commence Feb. 1, the "Year of the Blues" also honors the centennial anniversary of W.C. Handy's first exposure to the blues, recounted in the resolution as "in a train station in Mississippi, thus enabling him to compose the first blues music to distribute throughout the United States, which led him to being named 'Father of the Blues'."
CHESNEY TAPS BAIRD
At one point during Kenny Chesney's New Year's Eve show in Nashville he actually stopped singing because the audience was louder than he was.
"These songs have built me a life," he said afterward. "And the idea that you can stand on a stage where you'd just seen the Rolling Stones play all those songs that were part of my growin' up -- then sing your songs to
people and they know them that same way ... you know, to where you can just stop and they'll carry you along, well, that's heavy in a way I've only recently had someone point out to me."
The show marked the retirement from Chesney's set of the cover of the Georgia Satellites' rock anthem, "Keep Your Hands To Yourself." As the band leaned into the signature guitar lick, a T-shirt and blue jean clad figure bounded out of the wings and Chesney announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, from the Georgia Satellites, Dan Baird." The two then proceeded to tear it apart, trading verses, lines in the chorus and some blistering guitar solos.
SONIC YOUTH GETS DIRTY
Sonic Youth has readied a reissue of its 1992 classic "Dirty" as a two-CD set with lots of additional material, scheduled for release March 4. The package features 11 previously unreleased rehearsals and demos and several b-sides. New liner notes include essays by Sonic Youth guitarists Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo. The new material includes "Stalker" (from the double-vinyl version of the album), and rehearsal recordings of "Little Jammy Thing," "Stalker," "Youth Against Facism," and "Wish Fulfillment." Eight of the rehearsal songs have never been released: "Barracuda," "Dreamfinger," "New White Cross," "Guido," "Moonface," "Poet in the Pit," "Theoretical Chaos" and "Lite Damage." B-sides include "Genetic," "Hendrix Necro," "The Destroyed Room," "Is It My Body," "Personality Crisis," "The End of the End of the Ugly" and "Tamra."
DIY MUSIC FEST SET
The second annual DIY Music Festival will be held Thursday, Feb. 6 at the famed Derby nightclub in Hollywood, Calif. The live music event, which teams top independent talent with nationally recognized acts, serves as the kickoff party for the 2003 DIY Convention: Do It Yourself in Film, Music and Books, which will be held on Saturday, Feb. 8 at the American Film Institute. The DIY Convention offers panels and workshops on creating, promoting, protecting and distributing independent film, music and books.
Last year, the DIY Music Festival's national acts included Smithereens leader Pat DiNizio, songwriter Steve Wynn, Triple X recording artists the Streetwalkin' Cheetahs and acclaimed guitarist Steve Conte. They joined DIY Album of the Year artist Susan Robkin, Songwriter of the Year winner Holly Light, and Song of the Year scribe Tom Freund for a memorable evening of DIY music.
Submissions to the 2003 DIY Music Festival must have been released after Jan. 1, 2001, and created using recording equipment and other tools generally available to anyone. Submissions will be judged by a panel of music industry professionals using the following criteria: 1) The sophistication and potential of the music to reach a larger audience; and 2) The unique use of DIY resources to create a compelling music experience.
Deadline for entry to the 2003 DIY Music Festival is Jan. 25. Winning entries will be invited to participate at the live showcase at the Derby and will receive a selection of prizes from sponsors. Entry forms are available online at DIYMusicFestival.com. Individuals entering the contest will be admitted free to the 2003 DIY Convention and Film Festival (diyconvention.com).