Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International  |  March 24, 2003 at 3:00 AM
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The DIY Convention: Do It Yourself in Film, Music and Books has set the lineup for the first date in a monthly club series spotlighting the top works from its DIY Film Festival and DIY Music Festival. On Thursday, April 3, the new Club DIY will present an evening of live music, a film screening and a panel discussion at the Derby nightclub in Hollywood. Club DIY will be held on the first Thursday of each month at the Derby and will announce a schedule of dates in other cities shortly.

The Club DIY topic April 3 will be "How To Sell 10,000 CDs In The Next Year -- Or Still Make Money If You Don't." The panel discussion will be moderated by DIY Convention Chairman Bruce Haring and will feature Derek Sivers, the founder of leading online retailer; independent radio promoter Bryan Farrish; Sea Level Records co- founder Todd Clifford; The Militia Group's Rory Felton; and Steve Levesque of Luck Media and Marketing.

The discussion will focus on practical advice and actual strategies to reach a sales goal that will support a full-time music career and act as a springboard for greater success.

Live music performances will follow the panel. Featured will be 2003 DIY Songwriter of the Year Al Lay; 2002 DIY Song of the Year writer Tom Freund; the independent band CutOut, featuring Jimmy Allen, one of the co-founders of Puddle of Mudd; and the Ace Copasetic Trip, a Zappa-esque neo-jazz ensemble.

The night also will feature a screening of the 2003 DIY Film Festival Best Drama Feature, "Closer To Death."


Alligator Records has set an April 22 release date for "So Many Rivers," the new CD from Texas pianist/vocalist Marcia Ball. The album is the follow-up to Ball's 2001 Alligator Records debut, "Presumed Innocent," the best-selling record in Ball's career. That album took home the W.C. Handy Blues Award for Blues Album Of The Year.

"So Many Rivers" features Ball's trademark mix of raucous boogie and heart-melting ballads, but also explores a wider variety of rhythms, lyrics and song structures. Produced by Stephen Bruton, who also plays guitar and mandolin on the album, and recorded at The Hit Shack in Austin, Texas, the album's 14 songs include six Ball originals. Ball is scheduled to appear in "Piano Blues," the film directed by Clint Eastwood included in Martin Scorsese's "The Blues" series to air on PBS television nationwide this fall.


The first set of tour dates for British folk-rock musician Richard Thompson have been announced, beginning April 21 in Boulder, Colo., in support of his forthcoming album "The Old Kit Bag," to be released May 6 on spinART/Cooking Vinyl. Thompson is in Minneapolis April 24, Madison, Wis., on April 25 and Chicago April 26. The tour also includes May 2-3 at New York's Town Hall, May 5 in Washington, D.C., May 7 in Atlanta, May 9 in St. Louis and wraps up May 25 in Groveland, Calif., at Camp Mather. More tour dates will be announced shortly. Released to top-notch reviews in England in February -- and called "his best album in nearly a decade" by the London Times -- the album is Thompson's first since 1999's "Mock Tudor" and his first release for Cooking Vinyl/spinART.


Delmark Records' year-long procession of 50th Anniversary celebrations, "The Year of the Blues," continues at the world famous Buddy Guy's Legends blues club Friday, May 9. An all-star cast of Delmark blues artists will share the stage, including Jimmy Dawkins, Willie Kent, Bonnie Lee, Shirley Johnson, Johnny B. Moore, Jimmy Burns, Tail Dragger and Little Arthur Duncan. This event will showcase some of Chicago's finest blues musicians to record for the Delmark label. Highlighting the night will be a rare club performance by legendary guitarist/vocalist Dawkins, winner of the Grand Prix du Disque de Jazz from the Hot Club of France for his 1969 debut album "Blisterstring" on Delmark.

The 2003 nominee and six-time W.C. Handy Award winner Kent will fill the bass guitar role with rock-solid bass lines and bellowing, Mississippi-seasoned, vocals. Female vocalists Lee and 2003 W.C. Handy nominee Johnson will deliver their lionhearted growls beside guitarists/vocalists Moore and Burns.

Moore, carrying the second-generation torch of the "West Side-style" of guitar playing, has an upcoming fall release on Delmark. Burns will also have a new fall release, "Back to the Delta," bridging the gap from his Chicago vocal-group days to his North Mississippi musical roots. Tail Dragger's Wolf-like vocal timbre and Duncan's wailing vocals and cement mixer-harmonica tone, will bring back 1960s Chicago Blues nostalgia.

Delmark Records is the oldest independently owned label in the country, still owned and operated by its original founder, Bob Koester. Delmark's catalogue of artists reads like a veritable "who's who" in the history of blues and jazz music - Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Magic Sam, Big Joe Williams, Fred Anderson, Anthony Braxton, Coleman Hawkins, Dinah Washington and Sun Ra.

To commemorate its 50th Anniversary, Delmark Records will release a pair of two-CD albums on April 22 that will highlight its 300-plus catalogue of blues and jazz albums. There also will be an anniversary box set containing both double-disc albums along with a bonus DVD, featuring a "A Tribute to Delmark," a documentary spotlighting the independent spirit of Delmark and Koester.


Following a successful stint as the principle songwriters in '80s metal band Dokken, George Lynch's and Jeff Pilson's musical careers spread in different directions, only to come full circle for their newest project, Lynch Pilson. Spitfire Records will release their debut album "Wicked Underground" April 22. Lynch and Pilson's Dokken departure lead them to pursue individual projects. Lynch founded the Lynch Mob while Pilson got into production, making his own project "War and Peace" and playing a supporting role as guitarist in Mark Wahlberg's film "Rock Star" alongside Ozzy guitarist and Black Label Society leader Zakk Wylde.

"Jeff and I were the backbone writers in Dokken, and I always thought we had a great chemistry," Lynch said. "Left on my own, my writing tends to be darker. Jeff brings a lighter, more polished atmosphere to everything we do."

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