Pierce Tribute Planned: country singer and songwriter Gail Davis has lined up an impressive roster of stars who will contribute to a musical tribute to late honkytonk legend and West Monroe, LA native Webb Pierce; the album, due for release in October, will tentatively include Pierce hits by Willie Nelson, George Jones, Lucinda Williams, and others.
Tha Funk is Back: NOLA faves Papa Grows Funk is back in town after several successful gigs in the northeast; catch PGF at Tipitina's on June 15th, and at the Maple Leaf on June 18th and 25th.
Hip-Hop Awards: congrats to local artists receiving nominations for the 2001 Source Hip-Hop Music Awards; nominees include New Orleans natives Mystikal (up for "Single of the Year" and "Live Performer of the Year"), the Cash Money Millionaires ("Artist of the Year, Group"), and Cash Money Records' Mannie Fresh ("Producer of the Year"); the winners will be named in Miami on August 20th, and the event will be televised on August 28th on UPN.
Hot New Music: new CD releases on Tuesday, June 5th include "Better Day" from local favorites, the Continental Drifters; "Essence" from Grammy winner Lucinda Williams; and "Young & Thuggin'", the debut effort from Cash Money Records rapper Turk; click on the links for audio clips from each!
New Film for Harry: Harry Connick Jr. will star in "Mickey", a new film written by best-selling author John Grisham, that is currently shooting in Williamsport, PA (home of the Little League World Series); Connick plays Glen Ryan, a recent widower whose son, Mickey, is a great baseball player; After Mickey's 13th birthday, the two long for another year of Little League, so they assume new identities in Las Vegas; Their scheme begins to unravel after Mickey's team reaches the Little League World Series.
Benefit for Boozoo: a benefit concert for late Zydeco star Boozoo Chavis is being held at Dog Hill in Lake Charles, LA on June 24th; the line-up of players (so far) includes Keith Frank, the Zydeco Boneshakers, Willis Prudhomme, Lil Malcolm and the House Rockers, Magic Sounds, JoJo Reed, Zydeco Force, Brad Frank, Percy Walker, and Step Rideau; proceeds will go towards Boozoo's medical bills; if you can't make the show, donations can be sent to Mrs. Leona Chavis, 115 Petah Street, Lake Charles, LA 70607; for additional info on the benefit, contact Cullen at (337) 491-0302.
LA Music Blows Into The Windy City: the Chicago Blues Festival takes place from June 7-10, and several of Louisiana's finest will be in attendance; artists performing at the Fest include the Magic Sounds (performing a tribute to their late leader, Boozoo Chavis), C.J. Chenier, and Irma Thomas; swamp blues great Lonnie Brooks will be playing at Buddy Guy's Legends on Friday, June 8th, and Buddy's brother Phil Guy appears on Sunday, June 10th; the Blues Fest will also feature a pair of tributes to Louis Armstrong in honor of the centennial of his birth; here's the full schedule of events.
Zydeco Group in Serious Accident: Troy "Dikki Du" Carrier and members of his band (The Zydeco Crew) were involved in a serious accident in Florida on Sunday, June 3rd; the van they were travelling in flipped several times after a rear tire shredded on Interstate 10 near Bonifay, Florida early on Sunday; Bradley Guilbeau, age 39, of Carencro and Bobbie Jackson of Crowley died at the scene, and the 5 other occupants were taken to a local hospital. Troy Carrier (son of Roy Carrier) suffered a broken collarbone; His cousin Kevin Carrier, Dierdre Walker (Percy Walker's daughter, and the sister of Lil Malcom), and cousin Thea Carrier (Ronald Carrier's sister) all suffered broken bones; rubboard player Ronnie Warner escaped with minor injuries. Services for Guilbeau are scheduled for Thursday, June 7th, at St. Peter Roman Catholic Church in Carencro; our sympathy goes out to friends and family of the band members who perished, and our thoughts are also with those who were injured. Cards, etc. can be sent to: Troy Carrier - 3619 Texas St. - Lake Charles, LA 70605.
Youngblood Wins War: belated congratulations to one of our favorite non-
local groups, the Youngblood Brass Band, who were recently named winners in MusicDish.com's "Band Wars" competition; for more on the YBB, check out their latest CD, "Unlearn", at Amazon.com, and/or at their official web site.
News Bytes: The World Accordion to Buckwheat (CDNOW reviews Buckwheat Zydeco's latest CD); Anders Osborne's Ash Wednesday Blues named Editor's Pick at CDNOW; The 10 Essential Albums to Buy After O Brother, Where Art Thou? includes Chris Thomas King's "Me, My Guitar, and the Blues"; Lucinda: Straight Up - Lucinda Williams profiled by Newsweek Magazine.
RIAA Update: recent certifications by the RIAA include Master P's "Ghetto Postage" (certified Gold on May 16, 2001) and Tim McGraw's "Set This Circus Down" (Platinum, on May 23rd).
Hip-Hop Awards Cancelled: the 5th annual Online Hip-Hop Awards ceremony, originally scheduled for May 3rd, has now been cancelled; organizers have announced the winners from online voting, which included home town rapper Mystikal, who won in the "Favorite Music Video" category with "Shake Ya Ass".
Concert Notes: R. Kelly is scheduled for Municipal Auditorium on August 4th; tickets for the VANS Warped Tour go on sale on June 1st; here's more concert info.
2001 W.C. Handy Awards: congrats to local winners at the 2001 W.C. Handy Awards, held in Memphis on May 24th; Irma Thomas picked up the award for "Soul/Blues Album of the Year" (for "My Heart's In Memphis: The Songs of Dan Penn"), and Gatemouth Brown was the winner (again!) in the "Instrumentalist of the Year - Other" category for his fiddle skills; here's more on the awards from AllStar News.
McGraw Acquitted: country star Tim McGraw has been acquitted of assault charges stemming from an alleged horse-napping incident that occurred last June; singer Kenny Chesney, also involved in the incident, was also acquitted.
Romeo Makes History: rapper Lil Romeo, currently on top of the Hot Rap Singles chart with his debut "My Baby", has been cited as the youngest artist ever to reach number one on a solo project, and also the youngest rap artist to achieve that status according to Billboard magazine; the 11 year old rapper releases his solo album on July 3rd, and plans to tour once school is out.
Kid Ory Possessions Auctioned: various items belonging to late New Orleans trombone legend Kid Ory were recently auctioned off in Los Angeles due to an unpaid storage bill; Babette Ory, the jazz man's only child, said she learned last week that the contents of the storage unit she first rented in 1988 had been sold in March; Ory said the storage unit contained some of her father's taped interviews, correspondence, fan mail, signed photographs, old recordings, and other personal belongings.
Better Day: the Continental Drifters will release their 3rd CD, "Better Day", on June 5th (look for guest appearances by 'bone man Mark Mullins and trumpeter Eric Lucero); the band will celebrate the occasion with a free concert at the Howlin' Wolf on June 4th; this will be the last local show before the collective heads off for several road gigs, including an opening slot for The Bangles (Vicki Peterson pulls double duty!) in San Diego on June 21st; check out audio clips (and order a copy) from the CD at the 'Drifters web site and at CDNOW.
Marsalis/Satchmo Tribute: tickets for "From Satchmo to Marsalis: A Tribute to the Fathers of Jazz" are now on sale at Ticketmaster; this "once in a lifetime" concert, featuring the Marsalis Family and Harry Connick Jr., takes place on August 4th (Louis Armstrong's 100th birthday!).
Neville Covers Dylan: Aaron Neville will contribute a song to an upcoming Bob Dylan tribute album; "Pressing On: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan", featuring Aaron, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Shirley Caesar, and others, will feature tunes from Dylan's "Slow Train Coming" and "Saved" albums; the tribute is due out by the end of the year.
Concert Notes: tickets for KKND's End-Fest 2001 go on sale on Friday, May 18th at 4:00 pm; tune in to 106.7 FM for more info; tickets for 'N Sync (at the Superdome on 08/22) go on sale on Saturday May 19th at 10:00 am; here's more concert info.
Lil Romeo Tops The Charts: 11-year old rapper Lil Romeo tops 3 of Billboard's music charts for the week of May 26th; his hit single "My Baby" is No. 1 on the Hot Rap Singles, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Sales, and Hot 100 Singles Sales charts; Romeo, the son of Master P, will release his self-titled debut album on July 3rd.
BET Awards: congrats go out to rap star Mystikal (born Michael Tyler) who is nominated in the "Best Male Hip Hop Artist" category for the 1st Annual BET Awards; the inaugural awards ceremony takes place on June 19th at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel, and it will air live on the BET television channel.
Los Hombres in the Charts: props also go to Basin Street Records recording artists Los Hombres Calientes, who's latest CD "Volume 3: New Congo Square", is currently at No. 8 on the Billboard Jazz Albums Chart (for the week of May 19); the album is also currently the No. 1 CD in the country on the CMJ Jazz Radio Chart; congrats to the band and the crew of New Orleans-based Basin Street Records on their success!
New from Buddy Guy: blues man Buddy Guy's latest CD, "Sweet Tea", hits store shelves on May 15th; the album, Buddy's first new studio release in two years, features a guest appearance by Jim Mathus (of Squirrel Nut Zippers fame); Buddy will be making several TV appearances to promote "Sweet Tea", including guest shots on Letterman, Leno and Kilborn; see TV Page for details.
Media Wants Linda Gail: honky tonker Linda Gail Lewis (sister of Jerry Lee) has been bombarded with a wave of national media attention this week from an unexpected source; Linda was a personal acquaintance of Bonnie Bakley, the wife of actor Robert Blake, who was murdered last week by an unknown assailant; at one time, Bakley had a relationship with Jerry Lee Lewis, and Linda Gail has been sought out by for her personal comments; in the past week, Lewis has been interviewed by a rash of national media, including Dateline NBC, Inside Edition, MSNBC Investigates, Court TV, People Magazine, USA Today, and The Enquirer; she is scheduled to appear on the FOX News Channel show "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday morning (May 15) and on CNN's "Larry King Live" on Wednesday; on a musical note, Linda Gail's new single, "I'd Rather Stay Home And Rock 'N Roll", is due for release in early June
Odds & Ends: country star Tim McGraw names some his favorite cover tunes; CDNOW gives a rave review to Marcia Ball's "Presumed Innocent".
Hank Jr. Play LA Hayride: Shreveport native Hank Williams, Jr. recorded five new songs on Thursday (May 10th) at Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium; the Municipal Auditorium is the former home of the Louisiana Hayride radio show, which featured many future country music legends (including Hank's dad, Hank Williams, Sr.); joining Williams at the sessions was recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee (and also a Shreveport native) James Burton.
Skate Zone Update: a federal court in Lafayette has ordered the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office to pay $77,000 in legal expenses incurred by New Iberia skating rink (Skate Zone) owner Joe Torries; the bizarre case dates back to February, 2000 when the Sheriff's Office shut down the rink after a fight had broken out in the parking lot; the local authorities were called and after breaking up the fight, they entered the rink, told the manager to shut down, and confiscated 60 pre-recorded CD's (including the Disney "Tarzan" soundtrack, the "Hokey Pokey," and songs by Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and rapper Snoop Dogg) citing the music as the cause of the violence. A week later, the Skate Zone owner and his manager, Tricia Boudoin, were charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors because of the music they played at the rink. Torries and Boudoin filed suit against the Sheriff's Office for violation of their civil rights, seeking damages and the return of the confiscated CD's; Charges were dropped against Torries and Boudoin in a deal worked out on May 10th; at the same hearing, Sheriff Hebert was ordered to pay the $77,000 in attorneys' fees that Torries and Boudoin have accumulated so far; the Skate Zone's suit is scheduled to continue with a jury trial set for August.
'N Sync 'N Town: boy band 'N Sync are in New Orleans rehearsing for their upcoming POP Odyssey Tour, which includes a stop in New Orleans on August 22nd; you catch catch the lads on MTV's Total Request Live, live from New Orleans, on May 10th at 3:00 pm Central; the band will also appear on TRL again on Friday (at 3:00 pm), performing their new single "Pop".
Concert Notes: tickets go sale on May 10th for Trisha Yearwood (at HoB), and Godsmack with the Deftones (New Orleans Arena); also, the openers for Depeche Mode will be Poe; opening for Janet Jackson will be 112; the "Vans Warped Tour" hits New Orleans this year (July 24th at City Park), with 311, Rancid, Rollins Band and many others; here's more.
Mystikal Hits The Road: rapper Mystikal will be headlining the Seagram's Gin Live Tour this summer, criss-crossing the country with opening acts Ginuwine, Jagged Edge, Jaheim and Public Announcement; scheduled stops include New Orleans (Municipal Auditorium on June 15) and Lafayette (Cajun Dome on June 20); here's more tour dates.
Services for Boozoo: Funeral services for Zydeco star Boozoo Chavis will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 12th, at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church in Lake Charles; burial will be in Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery, under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home.
Tim McGraw News: preliminary dates for a summer tour featuring country stars Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney include a stop in Gulfport on May 19; a complete schedule will be released later this week; Dr. McGraw: Tim McGraw will become a doctor of humanities in ceremonies scheduled for Saturday (May 12) in Monroe; he will receive the honorary degree from the University of Louisiana-Monroe, where he was once a student.
Rap Sheet: label owners (Most Wanted Empire) and rappers Kane & Abel (twin brothers Daniel and David Garcia) pleaded guilty to committing "misprision of a felony" in federal court in New Orleans on Friday (May 4); the duo were back in court after a federal judge rejected a plea bargain deal worked out in a prior court visit; the Garcia brothers were originally charged (in May of 1999) with purchasing large quantities of cocaine from jailed drug dealer and convicted killer Richard Pena; they are due back in court for a sentencing hearing in September.
Rap Sheet II: Cash Money Records rapper Juvenile has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges stemming from a March altercation in Dade County, Florida (see "Juvenile Crime" below); the next hearing in the case is scheduled for June 8th.
Boozoo Chavis Passes Away: Zydeco music pioneer Boozoo Chavis passed away on Saturday morning, May 5th, in Austin, Texas at the age of 70; Boozoo (born Wilson Anthony Chavis, October 23, 1930 near Church Point, LA) had suffered a heart attack and severe stroke earlier in the week while on the road (see below); in a sad coincidence, Boozoo passed away on the same day that his brother's funeral was taking place (James Chavis, age 62); arrangements are being handled by the Johnson Funeral Home in Boozoo's home town of Lake Charles.
Fans Flock to Jazz Fest: the single day attendance record at Jazz Fest was smashed on Saturday, May 5th, according to a report by WWL-TV news; an estimated 160,000 music fans attended the event on Saturday (I think 3/4 of them were at the Congo Square Stage waiting for a tardy performance by local rap star Mystikal); the previous one day attendance record was 98,000 people, during the 1998 Jazz Fest.
Rhodes Wins ACM Award: congrats to in demand session player and West Monroe, LA native Michael Rhodes, who was named "Bass Player of the Year" in early presentations of the 36th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards; Rhodes, a previous winner in 1989, broke the 8 year winning streak of fellow bassist Glenn Worf; the ACM Awards take place on Wednesday, May 9th; the show will air live on CBS at 7:00 pm Central.
Neville's at WOMAD: the Neville Brothers are among 40 international artists scheduled to perform at the 2001 WOMAD USA Festival; the event will run from July 27-29 at King County's Marymoor Park in Richmond, Washington.
Britney in VH1's Top Videos: the Britney Spears video for "Baby... One More Time" was ranked at No. 90 in VH1's list of "100 Greatest Videos"; Britney was the only Louisiana music artist to make the list, which was dominated by the likes of Madonna (6 videos) and Michael Jackson (5); VH1's "100 Greatest Videos" airs as a 5 part, 5 day special, beginning on Monday, May 7th.
Circus Debuts at #1 country star Tim McGraw's new album "Set This Circus Down" entered the Billboard Country Album Chart at #1 (for the week of May 12th); amazingly, this is McGraw's 5th consecutive #1 Country Album Chart debut; the album also entered the Billboard 200 Album Chart at #2, held out of the top spot by Janet Jackson's latest release (which debuted at No. 1); to date, McGraw has sold almost 25 million albums and singles, and he has amassed 21 Top 10 singles, including 15 No. 1 hits.
"O Brother" Video: Chris Thomas King is featured in the Soggy Bottom Boys' "Man Of Constant Sorrow" video (from the soundtrack to "O Brother Where Art Thou?"); the video hit No. 1 on CMT's (Country Music Televison) Top 20 Video Countdown for the week of May 2nd.
Zydeco Star Hospitalized: Zydeco great Boozoo Chavis suffered a mild heart attack in Austin, Texas on Sunday, and after being hospitalized, he was hit by a stroke; Boozoo was scheduled to perform at Jazz Fest on Friday, May 4th; like many musicians, Chavis has limited medical insurance; benefit concerts and a fund to help defray expenses should be forthcoming; in the interim, you can send cards, well wishes and contributions to: Boozoo Chavis, 115 Petah Street, Lake Charles, LA 70607; if you're sending a check, please make it payable to Leona Chavis, Boozoo's wife.
Jazz Fest on Cable TV: cable network "Trio" has acquired exclusive broadcast rights to the 2001 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival; the company, owned by USA Cable, will air ten hours of Jazz Fest 2001 highlights as a two-day programming event during Labor Day weekend; jazz musician Branford Marsalis will serve as host for Trio's coverage; the specials are scheduled to include performances from several of the festival's stages, plus festivities and events from other areas such as the Congo Square African Marketplace and the Gospel Tent; the network also plans to air two "Best Of" specials, highlighting the Jazz Fest's most memorable moments.
All For You: dates for pop icon Janet Jackson's "All For You World Tour" have been announced, and they include a stop in New Orleans on September 16th; the tour will feature eight dancers and seven musicians performing Jackson’s enormous chart-topping catalogue of music, including songs from her newly released album, "All For You"; here's more upcoming concert info.
Handy Update: performers at this year's W.C. Handy Awards will include Taj Mahal, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Bobby Rush, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, Corey Harris & Henry Butler, and Big Jack Johnson; Dr. John hosts the event, which takes place on May 24 in Memphis (see archives for a list of nominees).
Dove Awards: crooner Aaron Neville is among the list of performers at the 32nd Annual Dove Awards, being held Thursday (April 26) in Nashville; Aaron is also nominated for an award in the "Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year" category, for his latest album "Devotion"; you can catch the event live on the 'Net at GorillaForce.com; it will be televised locally on Friday, May 4th.
Indians Honored: a benefit concert for the Mardi Gras Indian Council takes place on Monday, April 30, at Tipitina's Uptown; scheduled performers include Galactic, Dr. John, John Mooney, Anders Osborne, Dirty Dozen, ReBirth Brass Band, Davell Crawford, The Wild Tchoupitoulas, Bo Dollis, Monk Boudreaux, and many others; Mayor Marc Morial has proclaimed April 30th as "Injuns A Comin" Day, and Tip's will induct Big Chief Jolly (George Landry, who passed away in 1980) and Big Chief Robbe (Robert Lee, who passed away in January) into their "Walk of Fame"; the event starts off at 5:00 pm with a performance by the Mardi Gras Indians; note that Nashville Ave. in front of Tip's will be blocked off for this event.
McGraw's Circus: country music star Tim McGraw celebrated the April 24th release of his new CD "Set This Circus Down" with free unplugged performances in New York City and Nashville; McGraw, who had just returned from a 3 week trip to Europe the night before, performed for a crowd of 5,000 at South Street Seaport in NYC; after playing and signing autographs, he flew by chartered jet to Nashville, where he repeated the show for another 6,000 fans. The first single from Circus, "Grown Men Don't Cry", is currently No. 7 on the Country Chart
Robicheaux Fire: hoodoo man Coco Robicheaux lost many personal possesions in a serious fire at his Faubourg Marigny home on Monday, April 23; fortunately, neither Robicheaux or his fiancee, Danielle Laramie, was hurt in the blaze; Cafe Brasil, located next door, also suffered damage as a result of the fire, and it is temporarily closed.
Blues Man Bobby Rush Injured: a member of blues man Bobby Rush's band was killed, and Rush was injured in an auto accident on April 19th in DeFuniak Springs, Florida; Rush (born Emmett Ellis Jr. in Homer, Louisiana) and his band were returning to their home base of Jackson, MS after a gig in Tallahassee, when their van ran off of Interstate 10 and hit a tree; Fabrill Brown, age 25, of Jackson, was pronounced dead at the scene; Rush and 9 others were injured, with Rush suffering a broken arm and several cuts.
Songwriters Night: get in the mood for Jazz Fest with performances from Jim McCormick, Kim Carson, Gary Hirstius, and New Yorker Dayna Kurtz at Caffeine Music's New Orleans Songwriters Night; the event takes place on April 26th at Carrollton Station (10:00 p.m. start).
Kid's Choice! congratulations to Britney Spears, who was named Favorite Female Singer at the 14th annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, held on April 21st; it's the second year in a row that the "Pride of Kentwood" has captured this honor.
"O Brother" Goes Live: Performers from the celebrated soundtrack to the Coen brothers film "O Brother Where Art Thou?" will gather at Carnegie Hall in New York on June 13th to recreate the critically acclaimed soundtrack live on stage; Artists scheduled to appear include Alison Krauss and Union Station, John Hartford, Gillian Welch, Ralph Stanley, Norman Blake, Dan Tyminski, Chris Thomas King (who also stars in the film), Fairfield Four, The Whites, The Cox Family, The Peasall Sisters, and other special guests; the Platinum selling album is currently in its ninth week in the top 20 of the "Billboard 200" chart and is No. 1 on Billboard's "Country Album" chart.
Preview New Drifters' CD: the Continental Drifters will be premiering audio clips from their upcoming CD "Better Day" at their recently revamped web site (continentaldrifters.com); each week, from April 17th til the CD's release on June 5th, the site will feature a different song from "Better Day", along with video taped interview footage with band members; the web site also features upcoming gigs, the band history, a message board (which the band members occasionally contribute to), and loads more; check it out.
Out of the Frying Pan? country singer Sammy Kershaw has proposed to his long time mistress Lorrie Morgan, just days after Kershaw's previous marriage was terminated in a Nashville divorce court; Kershaw will be husband number 5 for Morgan, the Elizabeth Taylor of country music; the pair are due to tie the knot on September 29th; read more.
Concert News: tickets for Depeche Mode go on sale on April 19th at 10:00 am; Aerosmith is scheduled to play the New Orleans Arena on September 3rd; more concert info.
A Million for "O Brother": the soundtrack for "O Brother Where Art Thou?", which features tracks from The Cox Family and Chris Thomas King, has been certified Platinum (one million units sold) by the RIAA; a tour featuring artists from the soundtrack is being discussed; King also stars in the hit film.
Benefit for Ron Capone: a benefit concert for Ron Capone is scheduled for April 22nd (from noon til?) at James Burton's Rock 'n' Roll Cafe in Shreveport. Capone, the famous Stax Record sound engineer, is in critically ill condition after suffering a major heart attack. He is currently in a nursing home in Donaldsonville; Capone is known for his extensive work with soul artists such as Otis Redding, Albert King, Booker T. Jones, Donald Duck Dunn, Isaac Hayes (Capone won a Grammy in '71 for "Theme From Shaft"), and Johnnie Taylor; Recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee James Burton is hosting the benefit, sponsored by the Shreveport chapter of the Southern Songwriters Guild. Proceeds will be used to help defray Capone's medical expenses. Many local musicians and legendary acts are scheduled to appear, including Donald Duck Dunn, Steve Cropper and Black Oak Arkansas; you can contact James Burton's Rock 'n' Roll Cafe at (318) 424-5000.
Elsewhere in the Music World: punk rock pioneer Joey Ramone passed away on Sunday, April 15th at the age of 49; I only got to see The Ramones twice (with Pearl Jam at Tad Gormley Stadium on 09/17/95, and at Lollapalooza on 07/23/96), and they were two of the hardest hitting, rockin-est performances I've ever witnessed; see these sites for more on Joey: CDNOW tribute; Official Ramones web site; RockOnTV.
Britney & Michael: Michael Jackson will be joined by 'N Sync, Britney Spears, Whitney Houston, and other superstars at a September 7th Madison Square Garden concert celebrating Jackson's 30th year as a solo artist; the event, being taped for a two hour TV special, will also feature a reunion with the Jackson 5, and performances from Shaggy, Jill Scott, Mya, Tamia, Deborah Cox, Marc Anthony, and Jackson singing a new single from his upcoming album; read more.
Indie Awards: congratulations to nominees for the 2001 AFIM Indie Awards, who include Corey Harris & Henry Butler (Acoustic Blues category for "Vü-Dü Menz"), Sonny Landreth (Americana category for "Levee Town"), and the Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band (Traditional Folk category for "Sam's Big Rooster"); winners will be announced on May 5th in Los Angeles.
Country Music News: charges of grand theft auto have been dropped against crooner and Monroe, LA native Andy Griggs; Griggs and a member of his band were arrested in Tallahassee, FL in February after taking an ambulance for a joyride.
Country News II: singer Sammy Kershaw had it socked to him in a Nashville divorce court on April 6th; Sammy, the 3rd cousin of Rusty and Doug Kershaw, was ordered to pay his ex-wife Kim a total $10,500 per month in alimony and child support charges; the divorce was a result of his well publicized affair with songstress Lorrie Morgan; Kershaw and Morgan will release an album of duets, "I Finally Found Someone", on April 17th (buy a copy; he'll need the money).
Last But Not Least: Sammy Kershaw will host "Sam Jam III", an annual charity event, in his home town of Kaplan, Louisiana during the second week of May; special events, all to raise money for various children-related charities, include a solo concert, the "Sam Jam" (with special guests including Lorrie Morgan, Tracy Byrd, Daryle Singletary and Rhett Akins), and a celebrity golf tournament.
Stark Joins Styx Tour: 19-year-old Houma guitarist, singer and songwriter Joe Stark has landed a spot on the 41 city Styx and Bad Company Tour; the rising star, who has previously opened for the likes of Peter Frampton, Eddie Money, and Joe Walsh; is also celebrating the April 10th release of his self produced and self-titled solo album; check out JoeStark.com for audio clips, upcoming gigs, and more.
Blockbuster Winners! congratulations to Britney Spears and Tim McGraw, who were both winners at the 7th Annual Blockbuster Awards, held on April 10th in Los Angeles; Britney was named "Favorite Female Pop Artist", and McGraw picked up the award for "Favorite Male Country Artist"; the show, which featured a performance by local rapper Mystikal (with R&B singer Joe), airs tonight (April 11) on FOX, and later in the month on VH1; see TV Page.
Bishop and Queen: no, it ain't chess - we're talking about the "VH1 Divas Live" tribute to Aretha Franklin, which aired live on April 10th; joining the "Queen of Soul" in a moving Gospel number was Bishop Paul S. Morton, the Sr. Pastor of the Greater St. Stephen Baptist Church and noted Gospel singer; the show will repeat several times on VH1 if you missed it the first time 'round!
Concert Notes: superstar vocal group 'N Sync have added a stop in the Big Easy to their upcoming "PopOdyssey" tour (August 22nd; the final date date of the tour); this should be some show for the kids - the stage production for the tour requires 88 trucks to carry all of the gear! A venue has been announced for Depeche Mode's July 13th gig - they will play at UNO Lakefront Arena; more concerts.
'Net Events: Branford Marsalis performs excerpts from his latest album; chat online with local rap star Silkk The Shocker; WWOZ reairs the "Dew Drop Inn" documentary; and catch the Lil Band O' Gold in concert; a vintage gig from the Funky Meters has been added to the Events Archive Directory; click here and listen to some great Louisiana music while you surf the 'net!
Sad Days: funeral services are being held today (Friday, April 6) for trumpeter and Dejan's Olympia Brass Band leader Milton Batiste, Jr. (see below) ... also, Olympia Brass Band drummer Nowell "Papa" Glass, passed away on Tuesday, April 3rd, at age 73; Glass had been with Olympia for 37 years; he was the son of another local drumming legend, Booker T. Glass, who was with the Camelia Band (circa 1918), George Williams Brass Band, Eureka Brass Band, and others; services for Papa Glass will be held Saturday ... yet another jazz great recently left us, pianist Jeannette Kimball (née Salvant) passed away in Charleston, S.C. on March 28th at age 94; Kimball recorded with Papa Celestin's Original Tuxedo Orchestra as early as 1926; in later years Kimball was a regular at Preservation Hall; in a side note, a Tuxedo band mate of Jeanette's in the 1920's was banjoist Narvin Kimball (no relation; see photo), also a regular at Preservation Hall until health problems recently forced his retirement.
Branford Webcast: saxophonist Branford Marsalis will be featured performing selections from his recent classical album "Creation" in a series of webcasts at GMN.com; the exclusive audio & video webcasts run from April 6th through May 3rd; see the Netcasts Page for additional info.
Blockbuster Mystikal: rapper Mystikal will perform with R&B artist Joe at the 7th annual Blockbuster Awards, being held in Los Angeles on April 10th; they will be performing their hit remix of Joe's "Stutter"; the show will be televised on FOX TV on April 11th; nominees for Blockbuster Awards include Britney Spears (3) and Tim McGraw.
Essence Fest Update: headliners for the 2001 Essence Music Festival (runs from July 5-7, 2001) include Erykah Badu, Patti Labelle, Destiny's Child, Jill Scott, Yolanda Adams and Kelly Price; Superlounges to include Irma Thomas, ReBirth Brass Band, Solomon Burke, Donald Harrison and The Roots.
"The Killer" Enters Miss. Hall of Fame: rocker Jerry Lee Lewis and 16 other music artists were inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 31st; Lewis, who was born in Ferriday, LA (across the river from Natchez, MS), was inducted along with John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Marty Stuart, Glen Ballard, and Johnny Vincent (John V. Imbragulio), among others.
Lil' Romeo Makes TV Debut: up & coming pint-sized rapper Lil' Romeo will make his national TV debut on April 6th on the Jenny Jones show; the 11 year old son of No Limit CEO Master P, releases his debut solo album on June 26th; see the TV Page for more info.
Jazz Passing: our sympathy goes out to the family and friends of legendary New Orleans trumpeter Milton Batiste, Jr., who passed away early Thursday morning (03/29) at the age of 66; Batiste was the trumpeter and leader of Dejan's Olympia Brass Band (he had been with them for over 40 years), and he also worked with a number of other artists. See the Times-Picayune obituary for additional info.
Juvenile Crime: Cash Money rap star Juvenile (Terius Gray) was arrested outside of a Miami, Florida comedy club after a scuffle with a police officer and another man on Wednesday, March 28th; Juvie allegedly hit the man on the head with a bottle of Moet and also grabbed the officer (read more); perhaps he oughtta stay out of the Sunshine State; he was also arrested in Jacksonville, FL in July of 1999 after a tangle with security guards at a shopping mall.