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Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International

FANS LISTEN AND REACT TO SPRINGSTEEN

America Online currently carries a full-length version of the title track from Bruce Springsteen's forthcoming album, "The Rising." The dramatic medium tempo rocker recorded with the E Street Band is cut from classic Springsteen cloth sonically, and the spiritually uplifting message to the families of those lost on Sept. 11 ranks with his most powerful lyrics.

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AOL is accompanying the clip with an "instant poll" allowing listeners to vote in three categories -- awesome, good and bad. The accompanying e-mail string tracks a predictable battle between Springsteen fans and Bruce-haters.

In two weeks AOL plans to stream another track from the album, "Lonesome Day."


BOBBY BROWN RESTING AFTER HOSPITALIZATION

Bobby Brown is recovering at home following treatment last week at a Virginia hospital for an infection. The husband of Whitney Houston and former New Edition singer, who broke out with solo hit "My Prerogative," was released Friday from a Fredericksburg, Va., hospital.

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"He's now home and he's doing absolutely fine," his publicist, Nancy Seltzer, told ENews.

Brown was hospitalized last August in Morristown, N.J., after suffering a seizure. He hopes to be back in shape in time for next month's shooting schedule for the film "Biscuits And Gravy."


ROY ROGERS AND NORTON BUFFALO REUNITE

Guitarist Roy Rogers and harmonica player Norton Buffalo have reunited for their first recording in more than 10 years, "Roots Of Our Nature," scheduled for release in August on Blind Pig records.

Rogers, noted Grammy-winning producer of John Lee Hooker and Ramblin' Jack Elliott records, is acclaimed around the globe as one of the modern masters of slide guitar. He currently enjoys a wealth of attention for his work on Bonnie Raitt's latest release, "Silver Lining." Norton Buffalo, a regular member of the Steve Miller band, is regarded as one of the most versatile and talented harmonica players in the music business.

"It's a joy to play with Norton because he'll throw notes at me and I'll play notes back at him and we'll just see where the music goes," Rogers said. "We're always looking to take the music someplace different."

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Added Buffalo, "On our previous records, it became a collection of my songs and Roy's songs. On this record, we also co-wrote, and on those songs there's a real magic that happens. Even though we did it in the studio, it doesn't feel like a studio record.

"As we mature we gain more musical knowledge and our breadth of styles broadens. But when we do the duet we're both simplifying it back down to the basics. It's the root of what our music is all about. This is really an American record," he said.


BILLY MARTIN PURSUES SOLO PROJECTS

Medeski, Martin & Wood drummer Billy Martin is busy at work on a variety of solo projects. Last week Martin played a solo performance -- drums and percussion -- at downtown New York's brand new Bowery Poetry Club created by poetry czar Bob Holman, who ran the infamous Poetry Slams at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in the 1990s.

Martin also will lead his new band Socket on June 30 and host his annual New York series "The Turntable Sessions" starting July 24 through Aug. 14 every Wednesday at 8 p.m.


DOKKEN JOINS METAL EDGE FEST

Heavy Metal veterans Dokken have joined the Metal Edge Rock Fest 2002 tour crisscrossing North America this summer. The band is promoting its new studio album, "Long Way Home" on CMC International Records, a division of the Sanctuary Records Group.

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Other bands on the tour, which is sponsored by Metal Edge Magazine, include Ratt, Warrant, Firehouse and LA Guns.

Vocalist Don Dokken, drummer Mick Brown, bass guitarist Barry Sparks and new touring lead guitarist Alex De Rosso will perform two singles from "Long Way Home" -- "Sunless Days" and "Little Girl" as part of a greatest hits set.

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