Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International  |  July 30, 2002 at 3:00 AM
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Grateful Dead fans are eagerly awaiting the Aug. 3-4 reunion of the surviving members of the band at Alpine Valley Music Theater in East Troy, Wis. "Terrapin Station" is the first full-fledged reunion of the former bandmates since Dead vocalist/guitarist Jerry Garcia's 1995 death.

Bassist Phil Lesh, vocalist/guitarist Bob Weir and percussionists Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann will perform four sets over two nights. Joining the original members of the Dead will be Jeff Chimenti, keyboardist in Weir's band Ratdog, and two members of Phil Lesh & Friends -- keyboardist/vocalist Rob Barraco and guitarist Jimmy Herring.

Collectively, they will be known as the Other Ones, the name Lesh, Hart and Weir used when they performed together in 1998. The Other Ones will be joined on the bill by Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, Donna The Buffalo, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Jorma Kaukonen & Blue Country, the Disco Biscuits, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, and Gov't Mule vocalist/guitarist Warren Haynes, who will perform an acoustic set. Each Dead member also will perform with their own projects -- Hart with Bembe Orisha, Lesh with his Friends, Kreutzmann with TriChromes, and Weir with Ratdog.


New Orleans is gearing up for the 10th annual Cutting Edge music conference, scheduled for Aug. 21-26 at the Hotel Intercontinental in New Orleans. This year's list of speakers includes a broad spectrum of music business leaders, insiders and mentors. Technical experts, such as John Keane of Pro Tools, will conduct panels, along with industry insiders such as Elektra A&R rep Peter Torres, vocal/songwriter consultant Jan Smith -- whose clients include Rob Thomas, Usher, TLC, India Arie, Jermaine Dupri and others -- and Huston Singeltary of Tree Studios.


The Shortlist Music Project, which debuted last year, will return for its second annual awards ceremony and concert Oct. 29 at Los Angeles' Knitting Factory. The project, which presents awards to artists by their peers on the basis of creative merit, will honor albums nominated by music tastemakers including Beck, Mos Def, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, and members of the Strokes.


Vanguard records has collected some of the finest performances of Texas blues on "From Hell To Gone and Back Texas Blues." Mance Lipscomb, Lightnin' Hopkins, Big Mama Thornton, Pee Wee Crayton and Lee Roy Parnell all are represented on the collection, which features liner notes by Texas Monthly Senior Editor Joe Nick Patoski. The compact disc features two previously unreleased live tracks, "Mojo Hand" and "Where Can I Find My Baby?" by Lightnin' Hopkins from the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.


"Don't Give Up On Me," a powerful record from the great soul singer Solomon Burke, has just come out on Fat Possum records. In keeping with the label's no-frills approach to cutting music, the album was recorded live in four days with Burke's church organist, Brother Rudy Copeland, as the musical director and help from The Blind Boys of Alabama and longtime Burke sidekick Dan Penn.

"We just went in and did it," Burke said. "It was an amazing experience, and one of the first that I've done naturally live since the '50s. With the new technology it's amazing what can be done, but it's also amazing what can't be done. We're goin' back to the roots. It was a pleasure."

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