Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International  |  April 7, 2003 at 10:20 AM
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Pearl Jam released a statement following reports fans left the band's Denver concert following anti-Bush remarks from group frontman Eddie Vedder.

"There were close to 12,000 people at the April 1 Denver show," the band stated. "It's possible two dozen left during encore but it was not noticeable among the 11,976 who were applauding and enjoying the evening's music. It just made a better headline to report otherwise."

The group said an article in the Rocky Mountain News led readers to believe a mass exodus took place.


Limp Bizkit's attempt to find a new guitarist from its legions of fans by holding an open audition for the spot has failed and the band decided to enlist Mike Smith of Snot for the role. Smith joined the group last week in Seattle during a Wrestlemania performance. The band announced Smith was officially in on its Web site.

"We really like jamming with Mike," said head Bizkit Fred Durst. "He's dope. This you will find out soon enough."

Limp Bizkit is working on songs for an album on Flip/Interscope due out June 17. Tentative title have been rumored to be "Bipolar," "Less Is More," and "The Search for Teddy Swoes." The band plans an unannounced tour in May similar to the one in 2000.


Music industry heavy hitters showed up in force last week to witness Cajun sensation Marc Broussard play a showcase at Brooklyn's Southpaw rock club. The 20-year-old Broussard, whose father is Louisiana Hall of Fame guitarist and member of the New Orleans R&B group Boogie Kings, Ted Broussard, is a powerful vocalist and songwriter with an intense delivery that had the young women in the crowd flocking to the front of the stage. Broussard independently recorded and released his debut CD, "Momentary Setback," and is being scouted by several major labels. Broussard's reputation among other musicians is reflected by the fact a number of noteworthy figures joined him in making the album, including Dave Ransom (bass), who has performed with John Hiatt and Sonny Landreth; David Egen (piano), who penned songs for Percy Sledge and Etta James; and Tony Daigle (engineer), a Grammy-winner for his production work with B.B. King and Beausoliel.


Saxophonist Tim Ries will be using a bit of time off from the Rolling Stones "Licks" tour to debut music from his upcoming release of jazz interpretations of songs by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Ries' role in the Stones includes playing solos that originally were performed on Stones records by Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins and more. Before heading to Toronto for rehearsals for the Stones tour, Ries dropped into a studio in New York with an all-star ensemble of first-call jazz players and began work on his next project, an album of jazz arrangements of Rolling Stones material. Reinventing the incendiary edges of "Gimme Shelter," the beautifully melodic "As Tears Go By" and a 10-minute exploration of "Paint It Black," Ries' arrangements recast the classic rock material in a new light.

The contributions of pianist Bill Charlap, drummer Brian Blade, bassist John Patitucci and guitarist Ben Monder complement Ries' unique perspective and insightful saxophone mastery. When an enthusiastic Stones drummer Charlie Watts heard the tracks and agreed to take part in the project, Tim booked some studio time in Los Angeles on a rare day off for the band. When Watts showed up with Keith Richards and Ron Wood in tow a memorable session was guaranteed. Joined by fellow Stones bandmate bassist Darryl Jones (Miles Davis, Sting) and jazz organist/pianist Larry Goldings, the band laid down a fiery take of the classic "Honky Tonk Woman." Tim, Charlie and Larry also cut a version of the tune in a swinging jazz trio format. The first performance of this music will be at New York City's Jazz Standard April 30.


Bret Michaels has created and is producing the reality show "American Rock Star." The show follows no script and allows no track or lip syncing. Each week the show focuses on a variety of different rock bands, from alternative to classic, competing in night clubs in major cities across America. The shows judges are a panel of revolving celebrity musicians, a special celebrity guest (actor, athlete, playmate) who will be known as the "band breaker" in the event of a tie and a local DJ emcee who has a real knowledge of what bands are hot in that city. "I have been conceptualizing this show for a long time," Michaels said. "The reason for 'American Rock Star' is simple. In my 18 years touring I have run into so many talented and hard working local rock bands that as of late have been virtually ignored due to the fact that most labels are looking for quick fix, pop slick, manufactured one hit wonders. 'American Rock Star' is about the band's energy, attitude, the ability to play their instruments and most of all a chance to make it big by being themselves.

"If you are grunge be angry, if you are classic be melodic, if you are punk smash your guitar, if you are glam be outrageous, if you are alternative swear, kick and spit but most of all write great songs. 'American Rock Star' judges are not going to give you fashion tips or formulate your songs to be hits, this is about the band and their music and allowing the fans to fall in love with the band for who they really are. 'American Rock Star' is there to expose real bands, real musicians and give them a chance at a real record deal," Michaels said.

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