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Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International

ROCK IMPROVISORS CELEBRATE JAMMIES

Gov't Mule, the B-52's, Bob Weir, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Blind Boys of Alabama, D.J. Logic, moe., Stanton Moore, Tom Tom Club, John Popper, Melvin Sparks and Derek Trucks were among the rock luminaries who performed Wednesday at the second annual Jammy awards.

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The show, held at New York's Roseland Ballroom, was much more about the music than the awards. "This ain't the Grammies," Robert Randolph shouted to the ecstatic audience at the end of his vibrant set. "This is the Jammys! Let's have a ball."

Randolph's set epitomized the attitude of this unique awards show, which matches interesting sets of artists in improvisation. This particular segment began with the Blind Boys of Alabama singing their distinctive take on "Amazing Grace," done to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun." They were joined by Randolph, the innovative steel guitar player, who was in turn joined by Derek Trucks, finishing up the sequence with a wild take on the Jimi Hendrix classic "Third Stone From the Sun."

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The evening opened with bassist Rob Wasserman and D. J. Logic playing a duet. They were joined in progress by Rusted Root, then guitarist Melvin Sparks and harmonica virtuoso John Popper, who went on to emcee the show dressed in pajamas and a bathrobe.

Guitarist John Scofield, who played an unrehearsed set with drummer Stanton Moore, saxophonist Skerik and bassist Andy Hess, summed up the spirit of the event. "They asked me who I would want to play with, I said these guys, and they went out and made it happen," said Scofield, who performed a funk piece called "Kool" and a mean instrumental version of the Litlle Walter Jacobs blues standard "My Babe."

In other pairings, the B-52s were backed with gusto by Particle on the hits "Planet Clare" and "Love Shack," the Tom Tom Club, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Deep Banana Blackout played together, and moe. was joined by the Blue Oyster Cult. A moving moment took place midway through the show when the buzzing crowd grew silent for a brief tribute to the late Michael Houser, the lead guitarist for Widespread Panic, who died of pancreatic cancer earlier this year.


GOT ANY ENYA ONYA?

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Enya's unique take on New Age music will get its first American box set treatment Nov. 12 on Reprise Records. The four-disc package "Only Time -- The Collection," includes her most popular tunes as well as tracks previously unavailable in the United States, with bonus video footage on the enhanced fourth CD. The velvet and gold-foil packaging is designed to enhance its appeal as a holiday gift. The 50 tracks on span Enya's career from her 1987 debut album, "The Celts," through 2000's "A Day Without Rain."

Included are the hits "Orinoco Flow," "Book Of Days," "May It Be" (from "The Lord Of The Rings"), and "Only Time," featured prominently by CNN during its Sept. 11 coverage. The box also includes "Isobella," previously available only in Japan, and Enya's performance of "Oiche Chiun (Silent Night)," from the British Broadcasting Corp. Television program "Christmas Day In The Morning," as both an audio track and a video on the enhanced fourth CD.


DELBERT OPENS AT NO. 1

American music legend Delbert McClinton hit the Billboard charts with "Room To Breath" as the No. 1 Blues Album as well as charting on the Pop Albums (Top 200), Country Albums, Independent Albums and Internet Albums lists. The Grammy-winning McClinton entered the Top 200 at No. 84, the Country Album Chart at No. 12, the Independent Album chart as No. 4 and the Internet Album Chart as No. 5. McClinton appeared on "Imus In The Morning" on New York radio and nationally on MSNBC-TV on the album's Sept. 24 street date. He will return to New York, appear on "Good Day New York" Oct. 11, Imus again Oct. 12, and will headline a two-nighter at B.B. King's on Oct. 11-12. Delbert will spend the rest of 2002 touring the United States, and will embark on the 9th annual Delbert McClinton Sandy Beaches Cruise (delbert.com) on Jan. 11-18, 2003, flanked with a ship full of American music legends and fans.

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LYNYRD SKYNYRD TURNS IT UP

Southern rock pioneers Lynyrd Skynyrd will release a greatest hits package Oct. 8 on CMC International Records. "Turn It Up!" "Turn It Up!" gathers 12 songs from the five studio albums Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded between 1991 and 1999 for the Atlantic, Capricorn and CMC International record labels. Despite several personnel and business changes during this time, the strength of the music never wavered.

The core musicians highlighted include vocalist Johnny Van Zant; guitarists Gary Rossington, Rickey Medlocke, Hughie Thomasson, Ed King and Randall Hall; keyboardist Billy Powell; bass guitarist Leon Wilkeson (who passed away in 2001); drummers Artimus Pyle, Custer, Owen Hale and Kenny Aronoff; and background vocalists Dale Krantz Rossington and Carol Chase.

"Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991" was the first studio album for the reformed Jacksonville, Fla., band, which first got together in 1987 for the Tribute Tour commemorating the 10th anniversary of the tragic plane crash that took the lives of vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and background vocalist Cassie Gaines, among others. This Atlantic album is represented on "Turn It Up!" by "Smokestack Lightning" and "I've Seen Enough,"

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"The Last Rebel," another Atlantic release, featured "Born to Run" and "One Thing." "Endangered Species" was issued by Capricorn in 1994. "The Last Rebel" and "Devil in the Bottle" come from that album. "Twenty" was an acknowledgement of the two decades that had passed since the plane crash. "Travelin' Man," "Never Too Late" and "O.R.R.," which stands for Outlaws, Renegades and Rebels, are taken from that disc, as is the electronically engineered "duet" between the studio vocals of Johnny Van Zant and live vocals of Ronnie Van Zant.

"Edge of Forever" from 1999 yielded the title track, "Money Back Guarantee" and "FLA," a tip of the hat to the band's home state.


MATERIAL MOM

Madonna is thinking of having another child, according to "Access Hollywood."

"I don't know if it is going to happen," said the 44-year-old mother of two, "but I have thought about it."

Madonna also told "Access Hollywood" what her current idea of a good time is: "Eating a yummy macrobiotic meal, watching a Japanese samurai film and then reading the Zohar."

One thing the Material Girl no longer does is read her own press. "There's a lot of stuff in it that isn't positive," she said. "Even though you know it's not true, you read it and you just think, 'Why are people so mean?'"

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