Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International  |  May 26, 2003 at 3:00 AM
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Terence Trent D'Arby/Sananda Maitreya will return to the stage in the United States this week in support of his first U.S. release in eight years, "Wildcard! -- The Jokers' Edition," out June 3. D'Arby/Maitreya recently announced eight select, live U.S. performances and an appearance on the "Tonight Show" June 4, followed by appearances on the "Late Late Show" and the "Orlando Jones Show." The album was produced by D'Arby/Maitreya and features a Dallas Austin co-produced track as well as two tracks co-produced by Glenn Ballard.

"I was living with a sense of dissatisfaction regarding what I was expected to do," D'Arby told Vibe magazine. "Something much deeper was pulling at me to take a more truthful look at the role I was playing, because it really wasn't leading to fulfillment or happiness. My best is yet to come. I'm very confident and I'm very excited and I'm very grateful for the people who seem to have a tremendous amount of patience. I look forward to seeing them (U.S. fans) because I have something to share with them now that I didn't have before."

The tour starts Wednesday in Philadelphia, with additional dates in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Annapolis, Md.


The Women Who Rock magazine showcase, a monthly live music performance series at the Cutting Room -- co-owned by "Sex in the City" actor Chris Noth -- is becoming one of the hottest parties on the Big Apple scene. At the last showcase April 30, famed E Street Band violinist Soozie Tyrell and Lava recording artists Toby Lightman and Antigone Rising rocked the packed house. Joan Jett, who's on the cover of the current Women Who Rock issue, made a guest appearance. The next showcase will take place Wednesday. Lucy Woodward will perform her smash hit "Dumb Girls" and other tracks off her new album "While You Can." Woodward has performed on "The Tonight Show," "CBS Saturday Morning," "WB11" and "The Caroline Rhea Show." Her video is in current rotation on VH1. Lillix, whose single "It's About Time" is played regularly on more than 100 stations around the country, also is on the bill. A silent auction will be held with proceeds benefiting the charity Musicians On Call.


Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson will return to London's Royal Festival Hall Feb. 20, 2004. For the first time in his 40-year career, Wilson will perform his unreleased masterpiece, "Smile." The concert will include classic Beach Boys and Brian Wilson favorites as well as selections from his new solo album. Last year Wilson performed sold out concerts at Festival Hall in January and June. The four January 2002 concerts sold out immediately and when Wilson returned to London later that year to perform at the Queen's Jubilee Concert, he sold out another two nights. Among those who attended the Festival Hall performances were Eric Clapton, Roger Daltrey, Elvis Costello and Richard Ashcroft. The gigs were cited as the concerts of the year by most U.K. critics. Wilson and the Royal Festival Hall were honored with the prestigious Live Event of the Year Award by Time Out Magazine.


Rachel Sage has a new CD, "Public Record," due out Aug. 5 on her own MPress Records. The follow-up to 2002's critically acclaimed "Illusion's Carnival," "Public Record" builds on Sage's trademark folk-noir sound to include harmonica, horns and electric guitar. Sage took an improvisational approach in the studio with the record.

"My goal from the onset was to make a record that relied more on spirit and poetry than on vocal or piano technique," she said. "Coming off a year of solid touring, I was physically and creatively excited to shake myself up and leave old methods behind wherever I could."

Most of the songs on the disc came from Sage's own personal experiences. The pop-flavored "Bravedancing" and the ballad "Chasing The Girl" tell tales about ill-fated relationships forged from passion rather than compatibility, while "Back To Freedom" and "What If" are spoken-word poems put to music.


Guitarist/composer/singer Joel Harrison's "Free Country" is a collection of old American Country and Appalachian tunes arranged in unusual, sometimes radical, ways. Singer Norah Jones appears on two cuts, "Tennessee Waltz" and "I Walk the Line." Her poignant reading of these tunes is drenched in soul. The great alto saxophonist Dave Binney contributes to the record, along with pianist Uri Caine and accordionist Rob Berger from the Tin Hat Trio. "Free Country" was released in Europe in late April and has received rave reviews.

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