Connick on Letterman: Harry Connick, Jr. appeared on "The Late Show with David Letterman" on November 14th; he joked with Dave (and was a funnier guest than comedian Bernie Mac), and performed "A Spoonful Of Sugar" from his new album "Songs I Heard" (which is getting great reviews); backing Harry were Leroy Jones and Lucien Barbarin (who both soloed and provided backing vocals) with drummer Arthur Latin and bassist Neal Caine; Harry is currently on tour with his big band (see below), and he is also scheduled to perform at the half-time show of the Saints/Rams game at the Superdome on December 17th (the Saints first Monday Night Football game since 1994).
2002 AMA's: nominees for the 29th annual "American Music Awards" were announced on November 13th; nominees with local ties include Tim McGraw ("Favorite Male Artist" and "Favorite Album") and Brooks & Dunn ("Favorite Band, Duo or Group" and "Favorite Album"); the event takes place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in January, 2002, and and it will air live on ABC television; read more.
Musical Passing: funeral services for bassist Julius Farmer are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10th at New Canaan Baptist Church in Baton Rouge at 10 am; Farmer, an internationally known musician, passed away at University Hospital in New Orleans on Nov. 2nd at age 51; his career included stints with Chick Corea, Ellis Marsalis, George Benson and Charles Neville, and recording credits include albums by Professor Longhair, Gatemouth Brown, Wild Magnolias and Dr. John; the Music and Entertainment Commission has organized free bus rides for people who would like to attend the services; space is limited, and reservations are recommended; for more info, contact the Backstreet Cultural Museum (tel. 522-4806) or the Musicians Union Hall (tel. 947-1700); also see Jay Mazza's tribute from the Louisiana Weekly.
Brit Special Airs For Military: the upcoming HBO special "Britney Spears: Live From Las Vegas" will be seen by U.S service men and women around the world as a result of a request by Britney herself; the special, which airs live on Nov. 18th, will be carried simultaneously without charge by the American Forces Radio and Television Service; in addition, Spears will be able to interact with four military bases, Lackland Air Force Base, Camp Pendleton (Marines), Naval Station, San Diego and Fort Polk (Army) via a satellite hookup that will enable her to address them directly; Britney, who is currently on a nationwide tour, released her third CD, "Britney", on November 6th.
CMA Winners: congratulations to all winners at the 35th Annual CMA Awards, which took place on November 7th in Nashville; winners with Louisiana ties included Tim McGraw ("Entertainer of the Year"), Brooks & Dunn ("Vocal Duo of the Year", for the ninth time!), and the soundtrack to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" ("Album of the Year"), which featured tracks by Chris Thomas King and The Cox Family.
O Brother Mania: the film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (with Chris Thomas King in a featured role) makes its cable TV debut on December 1st (see TV Page); the film, which featured an award winning soundtrack (including tunes by Chris and The Cox Family), led to a concert by the soundtrack artists, which was captured in the documentary, "Down From The Mountain"; this has now spawned a national "Down From The Mountain Tour", which will visit 18 cities beginning on January 25; the tour will feature many performers from the soundtrack and concert including Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Ralph Stanley, Patty Loveless, The Whites, Norman and Nancy Blake, Chris Thomas King, Bob Neuwirth, The Peasall Sisters and The Nashville Bluegrass Band; The Cox Family are also sceduled to appear on many of the dates; the tour is not scheduled for New Orleans, but you can still catch some of the music in an upcoming PBS "Down From The Mountain" special, which will air in early December.
Harry Tours: Harry Connick, Jr. and his Big Band will kick off a 6 week tour tonight (Nov. 5th) in Syracuse, NY (tour includes a stop in Shreveport, LA on December 16th); as usual, the Big Band will feature a number of local all-stars including trumpeters Leroy Jones and Mark Braud, and trombonists Craig Klein, Lucien Barbarin, Mark Mullins and Brian O'Neill; Harry will also be performing on the "Late Show with David Letterman" on November 14th.
Good Music, Bad Game: the Saints may have lost to the Jets on Sunday, but viewers of the nationally televised (on ESPN) game were treated to some great New Orleans sounds; Aaron Neville performed a soulful "Star Spangled Banner" before kickoff, and the New Birth Brass Band were featured before and after several commercial breaks.
Master P Record: nope, we ain't talkin' vinyl, we are talking about Guinness World Records; No Limit Records CEO Master P is listed in the 2002 edition of the Guinness World Records book as the richest music producer (with a net worth of $56.5 million); other music artists in the 2002 edition include Eminem, Britney Spears and Destiny's Child; but you will have to buy the book to find out why!
More Gold for Juvenile: local rapper Juvenile's latest CD, "Project English", was certified Gold by the RIAA on October 24th; look for Juvenile to make a guest appearance on Mystikal's fifth CD (titled "Tarantula"), which is due in stores on December 18th.
Britney Mania: expect to see and hear about teen pop star Britney Spears (who turns 20 next month) ad nausuem during the month of November; Brit kicks off a 30 date tour today (November 1st) in Columbus, Ohio; MTV will be featuring Britney all weekend, with new and past specials; On Monday, she appears on Rosie O'Donnell, Tuesday sees the release of her 3rd album and live appearances on MTV and David Letterman; there's other TV specials scheduled throughout the month (see TV Page), including a 2 hour live concert on HBO, and she will also grace the covers of Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, Seventeen and Rolling Stone magazines; the "Pride of Kentwood" appears at the New Orleans Arena on December 16th.
Goners Still Goin': John Hiatt and The Goners (Sonny Landreth, Dave Ranson, Kenny Blevins) have extended their "The Tiki Bar Is Open" tour, with new dates beginning November 14th in Nashville; the group are also scheduled to appear on CBS's "Saturday Early Show" on November 17th; see JohnHiatt.com for tour schedule and more info.
Spankin' New Music: Deejay and jazz crooner Henri Smith releases his first CD ("New Orleans Friends & Flavors") on November 13th; rapper Mystikal drops his fifth CD ("Tarantula") on December 12th; the holiday collection "Now That's What I Call Christmas" is in stores now; the 2 CD set features classics from Harry Connick Jr., Britney Spears, Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat "King" Cole, and many others; see our music store for more info.
Harry and Branford Open Knicks Game: NOLA jazz greats Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis performed "God Bless America" prior to last night's (Oct. 30th) New York Knicks / Washington Wizards game at Madison Square Garden in NYC; the game marked Michael Jordan's return to pro basketball after a 40 month hiatus; the game aired nationally on TBS.
Hank's Back: Hank Williams, Jr.'s new single, "America Can Survive", makes its debut at #55 in this week's Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart (#47 on the Rock Chart); the tune, which is a patriotic re-write of his 1982 hit, "A Country Boy Can Survive", was premiered on national TV by Hank during the October 21st "Country Freedom Concert" benefit show; Williams will soon hit the road to promote his upcoming album, "The Almeria Club & Other Select Venues", due in stores on January 2nd; the album's recording locations included The Almeria Club in rural Alabama and Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium (home of the Louisiana Hayride), both of which were venues where his famous father had performed; guests on the album include Kid Rock, Nickel Creek and recent R&R Hall of Fame inductee James Burton.
RMA's: congrats to crooner Tim McGraw who picked up awards for Country Song of the Year ("My Next Thirty Years") and Artist of the Year at the 2001 Radio Music Awards which were held on October 26th in Las Vegas; father and son rap stars Master P and Lil' Romeo were presenters at the event, which was televised live on ABC.
Musical Passing: our sympathy goes out to the family and friends of country and Cajun singer and guitarist Rusty Kershaw who passed away in New Orleans on Tuesday (Oct. 23) at age 63, after suffering a heart attack; Kershaw (a native of Tiel Ridge, LA) and his brothers Doug and Nelson (Pee Wee) formed the Cajun band Pee Wee Kershaw & The Continental Playboys in 1948 (Rusty was 10 years old); they performed on the Louisiana Hayride and also the Wheeling Jamboree; Rusty and Doug began recording together in the early 50's, and had several country hits including "So Lovely, Baby" (1955), "Love Me To Pieces" (1957), "Hey Sheriff" (1958), "Louisiana Man" (1961) and "Diggy Liggy Lo" (1961); the brothers split up in 1964, and Rusty continued as a solo artist, releasing "Cajun in Blues Country" in 1970, and the critically acclaimed "Now & Then" (which featured backing from Neil Young, The Subdudes and Art Neville) in 1992.
Support WWOZ: WWOZ FM's fall fund drive runs through Wednesday, October 24th; support the volunteer, non-profit station by making a pledge today!
TV Update: CBS News Sunday Morning is scheduled to run a profile of Harry Connick, Jr. on October 21st (airs locally at 9:00 am, on WWL).
Chart Notes: (for the week of Oct. 27th); Trace Adkins' latest CD "Chrome" entered the Billboard Country Chart at #4; the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack regained the #1 spot; Tim McGraw has 2 CD's in the Top 12: "Set This Circus Down" at #6; and "Greatest Hits" at #12; Brooks & Dunn's former #1 album "Steers & Stripes" is at #17 (their hit "Only In America" is #1 on the Country Singles chart).
Anthrax hits New Orleans: the heavy metal rockers, that is, and they will be joined by Judas Priest, playing at the House of Blues on January 29th; the band is getting a lot of flak over their name (they've been together for 20 years), and they recently commented on their sudden notoriety; see the band's web site for more of their comments.
Nevilles Honored: The Neville Brothers will receive the Living Legends Award at the Fourth Annual Native American Music Awards being held October 20th, at the Sandia Casino Amphitheater in Albuquerque, New Mexico; The Nevilles, along with Aaron's son Ivan Neville, are also nominated in the "Best Short & Long Form Video" category, for their work on the soundtrack of the video "Black Indians: An American Story".
NOSN 3rd Anniversary: Caffeine Music's New Orleans Songwriters Night series celebrates it's third anniversary with a show set for October 20 at Carrollton Station; performers include Susan Cowsill, Theresa Andersen, Gary Hirstus and Jim McCormick, along with guest appearances from NOSN alumni from the previous three years.
No Limit Goes Universal: rap star and label owner Master P has inked a deal with Universal Music for distribution of his No Limit Records label; No Limit was formerly distributed by Priority Records, but that agreement recently expired; the first release on Universal will be Master P's "Game Face", scheduled for December 18th; Universal Music also handles New Orleans-based Cash Money Records.
WTC Update: among those missing in the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center is New Orleans born jazz singer Betty Farmer; according to an AP report, Singer had gone to work for brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald just 3 weeks before the attack; this also from the AP report: "Farmer debuted at 17 with a Dixieland band on Bourbon Street. After years of touring, including performances with Duke Ellington, Farmer settled in Denver and opened her own club. In 1996, she moved to New York, where she continued to entertain at clubs in Greenwich Village and Soho. She spent three years working for Showtime Entertainment in New York before joining Cantor Fitzgerald". Cantor Fitzgerald lost more than 700 employees in the WTC attack.
Concerts: tickets go on sale at 10:00 a.m. today (10/15) for Live (appearing at McAlister Auditorium on 11/02); tickets for Melissa Etheridge (appearing at the Orpheum Theatre on 11/14) go on sale on Saturday, October 20th; see the Concert Line for news on other upcoming shows.
TV News: upcoming TV appearances of note include Harry Connick, Jr. on the Today show (who know's what he will be promoting - he has a Broadway play, 2 new albums, a big band tour, and a couple movies in the can) on October 25th; and Dr. John, promoting his new album "Creole Moon", is scheduled for Saturday Night Live and Late Night With Conan O'Brien in November.
Ampt Music Series: ASCAP and Heineken USA will present the Heineken Ampt Music Series at the Parish on October 30th; the Ampt Music Series showcases the accomplishments of local music scenes around the country; the event will include performances by Allen Toussaint and Cameron Meshell; the Heineken Ampt/ASCAP Recognition Award, honoring someone who has contributed to the local music community, will be presented to OffBeat editor Jan Ramsey during the showcase.
Music Events: upcoming events of note include The Country Freedom Concert and the 2001 Radio Music Awards; see the events page for more.
Concert Line: Britney Spears has rescheduled her New Orleans Arena concert to December 16th; tickets for the show go on sale at TicketMaster on October 13th, at 10:00 am.
Treme Fest: the 2001 Treme Arts & Cultural Festival take place this weekend at St. Augustine Church; entertainment kicks off with a second line parade on Saturday (Oct. 11) at 10:00 am; the music line-up for Saturday includes James Andrews, Michael Ray, Germaine Bazzle, Leo Nocentelli, Kermit Ruffins, and James Rivers; performing on Sunday are Coolbone, Treme Brass Band, Batiste Brothers, Kidd Jordan, Cyril Neville, Michael Ward, Roy Ayers, and others.
New Drifters: the Continental Drifters' German label, Blue Rose Records, has released "Listen, Listen", a collection of Sandy Denny and Richard Thompson covers recorded in 2000 (with one track recorded this year); the album is currently only available via the Blue Rose web site (listen to samples from the CD).
Say It Loud! Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Little Richard and Branford Marsalis are among the 70 music artists featured in VH1's five part series "Say It Loud! A Celebration Of Black Music In America" which debuts on Sunday, Oct. 7th; see the TV Page for full details.
Guerin on MP3.com: rising jazz star Roland Guerin has posted several tracks from his albums at MP3.com; future plans for Roland's site at MP3.com include posting of unrelased material and alternate takes, so be sure to check it out on a regular basis; also of note, Roland's latest album, "You Don't Have to See It to Believe It", is currently #1 on the General Jazz Chart at MP3.com; also see his official web site at http://www.rolandguerin.com/.
Branford and Harry Online: Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr. have set up new outposts on the web; both sites feature discussion forums, mailing lists and areas where you can post questions to the entertainers; the sites were commissioned by Wilkins Management, Connick and Marsalis' management firm, and designed by Boston interactive media firm Cyclone Interactive; check the sites out at www.branfordmarsalis.com and www.harryconnickjr.com (there's loads of news at Harry's site, including the latest on his Broadway musical, new films, 2 new CD's, and an upcoming tour by Harry's Big Band).
Country Stars Wed: belated well wishes to country music stars Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw who were married in Nashville on September 29th; this is Morgan's fifth wedding and Kershaw's fourth, so they probably need all the well wishes they can get ;)
Pause For A Cause: Tipitina's is hosting an all-star fundraiser for the New York City Police and Fire Departments on Thursday, October 4th; performers include The Radiators, Aaron Neville, Cyril Neville, Anders Osborne, Kermit Ruffins, Henry Butler, and many others; visit the Concert Wire for more info!
Forbes Top Celebrities: Forbes Magazine has published a "power list" of the world's top celebrities; coming in at #4 on the "Forbes Celebrity 100" was none other than Louisiana's own Britney Spears (the only higher ranked music artist was The Beatles, at #3); check out the entire list at Forbes.com (registration required).
Satchmo.com Events Guide: check out our recently added Louisiana Music: Calendar of Upcoming Events; the guide is an effort to keep y'all posted on festivals, award shows, and other major events related to Louisiana music and musicians.
Rock With Your Tube: RockOnTV, a guide to music programming on television (created in 1995, by your humble editor), was included in Yahoo! Internet Life magazine's list of The 101 Most Incredibly Useful Sites; the acclaimed site has previously been featured in USA Today, Playboy, and dozens of other national publications.
New Music! in stores this week are the debut album from Bonerama ("Live at the Old Point") and the latest from Andy J. Forest ("Sunday Rhumba"); head to our music store for the latest on national and local/indie releases.
Bluegrass Awards: the International Bluegrass Music Association will hand out the 2001 IBMA Awards at ceremonies being held on October 4 at the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville; nominees include the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack ("Album of the Year"), which featured Chris Thomas King, The Cox Family, and others; nominated for "Song of the Year" is Dan Tyminski's version of "I Dreamed of an Old Love Affair", a tune cowritten by music legend and former Louisiana Governor Jimmie Davis.
Terrorism Strikes Home: in addition to the crunch felt by local hotels and restaurants, the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. has hit local musicians; the Continental Drifters have cancelled a dozen plus gigs in Europe that were scheduled in the month of October; according to their web site, the band was concerned about the safety of air travel and the threat of a potential war; got to admit that I don't blame them, and our sympathy goes out to the Drifters and their sure-to-be disappointed European fans.
Kudos for McCormick: congrats to local tunesmith Jim McCormick, who was named one of ten finalists in the "In The Beginning: A Songwriter’s Tribute To Garth Brooks" songwriting contest; Jim's song, "Take Me Home With You", was among 650 entries that were submitted from across the U.S. and Canada; a panel of music industry veterans selected the top ten finalists; first place in the contest went to Nashville based songwriter Aaron Scherz.
Swampstock '01: country mega-star Tim McGraw returns home to northeast Louisiana to host Swampstock 2001, his 8th Annual Celebrity Softball Challenge and Concert, on Sunday, October 28th, at the Tim McGraw Sports Complex in Rayville, LA; in addition to Rayville area youth charities, partial proceeds from this year will go to The New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund; the concert will feature McGraw, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Carolyn Dawn Johnson and the Warren Brothers; celebrities scheduled to participate in the ball game include Green Bay Packers QB Brett Favre; tickets, available from TicketMaster, go on sale on Monday, October 1st.
Late Night TV: Aaron Neville will perform on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Friday, Sept. 28th; Britney Spears will appear on Leno on October 11th.
Concert Line: Bush, Tricky, and Brand New Immortals have been added to the line-up for 3rd annual Vodoo Music Festival, being held at City Park on October 27th; if you can't make it to the show, you can catch it live via the 'net at RollingStone.com.
Musical Passing: belated condolences to the family and friends of bluesman Arthur Lee Kelley (better known as "Guitar" Kelley), who passed away in Baton Rouge on September 17th at age 83; Kelley, a native of Clinton, Louisiana, began performing in the 1940's but did not record until 1970 (for the Arhoolie "Louisiana Blues" sessions); he was a regular performer on the Baton Rouge blues circuit for many years; services were held on September 22; survivors include his wife, four daughters, a son, 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.
Neville's Win Gleason Award: congrats to the Neville Brothers, who along with David Ritz won 3rd place in the 12th annual Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Awards for the Neville's bio, "The Brothers"; more than 80 titles were reviewed by the Gleason Awards committee; first place went to "Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams" (by Gary Giddens), and second place winner was "Bill Monroe, Can't You Hear Me Callin'", by Richard D. Smith.
Show of Strength Second Line: the brass bands of New Orleans invite you to their "second line" parade on Saturday, September 22; their purpose is twofold; first to encourage folks to contribute to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack, and secondly, they want New Orleans to participate in what we do best, celebrating life through music; so far, eight of the area's top brass bands are scheduled to participate, along with several Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs; this unique second line parade will be followed by auctions at the end of the parade, with all proceeds and donations going to programs that will benefit the terror attack victims; the event begans at 3:00 pm at Armstrong Park, and the route is: Start: Armstrong Park; Left on N. Rampart to St. Bernard Ave.; Left on St. Bernard Ave to N. Claiborne Ave.; Left on N. Claiborne Ave. to Orleans Ave.; Left on Orleans Ave. to N. Villere; Left on N. Villere to Ursulines; Left on Ursulines to N. Robertson; Disband: Joe’s Cozy Corner.
Voices For America; former Toto lead singer and Vinton, Louisiana native Bobby Kimball is among several classic rock stars contributing to "Voices For America", a CD featuring American patriotic anthems as a fundraising effort for the American Red Cross Victims Relief Fund and the USO; visit the RockForever web site for additional info.
Britney Responds: pop star Britney Spears may team up with Michael Jackson and others on a fund raiser for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack; Britney is also planning to raise as much as $2 million for the children of the New York police officers and firefighters lost as a result of the attack; $1 from each ticket sold on her upcoming 31 city tour will go to the fund (a special division of The Britney Spears Foundation), as well as proceeds from special merchandise sales and the auctioning of front row seats to her concerts.
Rap Sheet: rappers Kane & Abel (twin brothers David and Daniel Garcia) were given the maximum sentence of 3 years in jail as part of plea agreement last Wednesday (Sept. 12); the duo pleaded guilty to the charge of misprision of a felony, and will begin serving their sentence on October 10; the twins were arrested in May of 1999, originally accused of purchasing large quantities of cocaine from jailed drug dealer and convicted killer Richard Pena... the murder trial of former No Limit Records rapper Mac (aka "The Camouflage Assassin"; real name McKinley Phipps) resumed in St. Tammany Parish on Tuesday, after a mistrial was declared last week; the Baton Rouge based rapper is accused of murdering 19 year old Barron Victor, Jr. during an altercation at a Slidell area nightclub on Feb. 20, 2000 ... New Orleans rapper Juvenile's trial in Miami, Florida has been postponed from September 17 to January 7, 2001; Juvenile (real name Terius Gray) was arrested on several charges after an altercation outside of a Miami comedy club on March 28, 2001.
"Support The Survivors" Benefit Concert: radio station WSJZ is sponsoring a jazz concert to benefit the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund; the "Support The Survivors" Benefit Concert will be held at the Popp bandstand at City Park on Sunday, Sept. 16th from 2pm - 7pm; the concert is free, but you are asked to bring a donation (cash, check or money order); The American Red Cross will be on site to collect donations for the disaster relief fund; the list of performers, which is expected to grow, includes Allen Toussaint, Donald Harrison, Derek Dabbs, Kermit Ruffins, Henri Smith & Stephanie Jordan, Ricky Sebastian, Bleu Orleans featuring Philip Manuel, Crosswinds featuring Greg Dawson, Willie Tee and the Hamilton Brothers.
Live on the 'Net, II: this weekend's "Festival de Musique Acadienne" will be carried live on the 'net (on Sept. 15th and 16th) via Lafayette radio station KRVS; the stellar line-up of performers includes Sheryl Cormier, Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys, Charivari, Balfa Toujours, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Geno Delafose, and others.
Songwriters Night: the next Caffeine Music's Songwriters Night will feature noted singer & songwriter David Olney (who's tunes have been covered by Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and Johnny Cash) on Saturday, Sept. 15th; the show will be held at "City Perk" coffee house at 637 N. Carrollton; Caffeine Music's Jim McCormick will also be performing a few songs.
Louisiana Stomp: LouisianaRadio.com's annual "Louisiana Stomp" takes place on Sunday, September 16; the event is held at the Grant Street Dancehall in Lafayette, and proceeds help to benefit the Dr. Tommy Comeaux Memorial Endowed Fund for Traditional Music at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette; performers include Lil' Band O' Gold, Dirk Powell & Friends, and The Red Stick Ramblers; cover charge is $10.00, and you can tune in to the show worldwide via the 'net at Louisianaradio.com.
New Music: local guitarist/singer Burke Ingraffia has released a new EP, which can be ordered via his web site; you can also sample some of Burke's music at his site at MP3.com.
Charlie Miller on WWOZ: WWOZ will be broadcasting New Orleans hardest working trumpeter, Charlie Miller, live on Sunday, September 9th at 8:00 pm from Winston's Pub and Patio (531 Metairie Road); the band will include Bill Huntington on guitar, Mike Pellara on keyboards and James Alsanders on on drums; catch WWOZ at 90.7 on the FM dial, and you can also tune in via the Internet.
Concert Notes: tickets for the Rod Stewart concert (October 13; at the New Orleans Arena) go on sale on Saturday (09/08) at 10 am; here's more upcoming concert info.
Kennedy Center Honors: celebrated classical pianist and Shreveport native Van Cliburn is among five winners of this year's Kennedy Center Honors; other performing artists being recognized in 2001 are Jack Nicholson, Julie Andrews, Luciano Pavarotti and Quincy Jones; this year's honorees will be saluted at a gala performance in the Kennedy Center's Opera House on December 2, to be attended by the President of the United States and Mrs. Bush, and by artists from around the world; the Kennedy Center Honors will be bestowed the night before the gala on Saturday, Dec. 1, at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State Colin Powell; the Honors Gala is being taped for TV, and will air later in December on CBS.
Cajun Humorist Justin Wilson Dies: noted Cajun humorist and TV chef Justin Wilson passed away on Wednesday in Baton Rouge at age 87; Wilson released many books on cooking and humor, 27 albums of stories, and one album of Christmas songs with a jazz band; Wilson also composed 10 songs of his own, as well as background music for his cooking show.
Britney Comes Homes: pop star Britney Spears has included New Orleans as a stop on her upcoming 2001 North American tour; Brit, who will release her third album on November 6, is scheduled to perform at the New Orleans Arena on December 13th; catch Britney tonight (Sept. 6th), performing on the MTV Music Video Awards.
R&B Net Radio: fans of "old school" swing, blues and R&B should check out the "R&B Essentials" station at Radio Sonicnet; the newly available station includes classics and rare nuggets from the 1940's thru the early 60's; also, don't forget to check out the ever-changing, "all-Louisiana" French Quarter station - both virtual stations are great to tune into while surfing the 'net.
Tim's Tour Tops: Tim McGraw's recently completed 12 week, 43 city tour was the highest grossing country tour of 2001, outpacing the George Strait Country Music Festival and Brooks & Dunn's Neon Circus tour; "Tim McGraw On Tour" pulled in over 650,000 ticket buyers, with gross receipts topping 25 million dollars;
CD Reviews: CDNOW editors review Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's "Back To Bogalusa", Tommy Malone's "Soul Heavy", Lil' Romeo's self-titled debut album, Juvenile's "Project English", and Lucinda Williams' "Essence" (CDNOW also lists some of Lucinda's favorite albums).
Connick on Broadway: Harry Connick, Jr. will make his Broadway debut as composer and lyricist for the new Susan Stroman musical "Thou Shalt Not"; the show opens for previews at Broadway's Plymouth Theatre on September 20th, and officially opens on October 25th; the musical, set in New Orleans after World War II, is based on Emile Zola's classic "Therese Raquin".
Boozoo Honored: late Zydeco legend Boozoo Chavis is one of 13 artists being honored with 2001 National Heritage Fellowships by the National Endowment for the Arts; Boozoo's widow Leona and other family members were presented with the award in a ceremony held in August at the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau; Boozoo's family will formally receive the award (a trophy and $10,000 fellowship) at The National Heritage Awards Concert and Celebration, being held at the Lisner Auditorium in Washington DC on September 21st.
Lloyd Price Honored: New Orleans R&B great and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Lloyd Price was inducted into the National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame in ceremonies held on Wednesday, August 29th, in Harlem, NY; Price performed at the event, which also honored inductees including Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, Lionel Hampton and Duke Ellington; funds are being raised to find a site for the newly launched Hall of Fame, which will be located in Harlem; future plans also include a Walk of Fame.
BTE TV: if you are up early on Saturday morning (or just coming in from Friday night), you catch a performance by Better Than Ezra on CBS's "Saturday Early Show", which airs locally from 6 to 8 a.m. on WWL; the segment was taped on August 24th.
Billboard Charts: rapper Juvenile's latest, "Project English", makes it's debut at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and the Billboard R&B Chart (for the week of September 8th); Juve was narrowly beat out for the top spot by another chart debut, Maxwell's "Now"; rumors are that "Project English" will be the last release by Juvenile on the local Cash Money Records label; he has started up his own label, UPT Records, and may be leaving CMR due to ongoing money disputes with owners Ronald "Slim" Williams and Bryan "Baby" Williams.
CMA Awards: the Country Music Association has announced the nominees for the 2001 CMA Awards, which will take place at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville on November 7th; nominees with local ties include Brooks & Dunn (4 nominations) and Tim McGraw (3); the soundtrack to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" earned four nominations including Album of the Year, which puts contributers Chris Thomas King and The Cox Family in the running for an award also; the event will be aired live on CBS at 7:00 pm (Central).
Britney On Tour: Britney Spears has announced initial dates for a fall tour set to promote her third solo album (title TBA, release scheduled for November 6th); she will debut her new single "I'm A Slave 4 U" at the MTV Video Music Awards on September 6th; other upcoming appearances include the Michael Jackson tribute concert on Sept. 7th (she will duet with Jackson on "The Way You Make Me Feel"), and an HBO concert special on November 18th.
Lucinda Exclusive: MP3.com is currently featuring a live in-studio version of Lucinda William's "Blue" (from her "Essence" album); head to MP3.com and check it out now - the track expires on September 1st.
Music Store: new CD's hitting store shelves this week include the latest from Galactic, Rosie Ledet, Lazy Lester and Juvenile, and new collections from Aaron Neville and Alligator Records; head to our new releases page for more upcoming CD's from Louisiana music artists.
Live Music: our hot picks for the weekend take place at Carrollton Station; Tom's House plays a first ever all acoustic show tonight (Friday), and MuleBone rocks the 'Station on Saturday night; if you happen to be in the quarter, pop into the Old Opera House (601 Bourbon) for a brew and check out The Bonoffs (Janson and Rhonda Lohmeyer, Susan Cowsill and Russ Broussard); perhaps the greatest cover band in town!
3rd RS Cover for Britney: Britney Spears has made the cover of Rolling Stone for the third time in just over 2 years (RS#877; September 13, 2001); she was previously featured in RS#810 (April 15, 1999) and RS#841 (May 25, 2000); visit the Rolling Stone web site for extracts from the cover story and interview clips.
Concerts & Events: critically acclaimed singer and songwriter Kevin Gordon will be doing an acoustic show with Jim McCormick at Carrollton Station on September 7; tickets for 311 and Alien Ant Farm go on sale on Saturday, August 25th; the Angola Prison Rodeo is scheduled for 4 Sundays in October; see the Concert Page for more info.
Dem Bones: boss 'bone player Mark Mullins has been busy in the studios of late with projects for the Continental Drifters, Better Than Ezra and Harry Connick, Jr.; Mark and his MuleBone bandmates are also putting the finishing touches on the follow-up to their debut album "5 Shakes 7 Spirits"; the new album, titled "Only In New Orleans", is due for release in November; also be on the lookout for "Bonerama LIVE at the Old Point" due in stores on October 9th; the eagerly awaited debut album from Bonerama was laid down live at the Old Point Bar on January 27th; check the MuleBone and Bonerama web sites for upcoming local gigs.
Le Cajun Award Winners: the Cajun French Music Association's annual "Le Cajun" awards ceremony was held on Friday, August 17th in Lafayette; this year's winners included Travis Matte (Fiddler of the Year; for the 4th time!); Christine Balfa (Female Vocalist), Lee Benoit (Accordionist), and Don Fontenot (Male Vocalist); Don Fontenot et Les Amis De La Louisiane were named Band of the Year; visit the CFMA web site for a list of all winners.
Rapper Surrenders: New Orleans born rapper C-Murder (Corey Miller) turned himself in to Baton Rouge authorities on Friday, where he was wanted on two counts of attempted murder and other charges; Miller, now a resident of Baton Rouge, is expected to have bail set on Monday morning.
Billboard Video Awards: congrats to Britney Spears and Lil' Romeo, who both received nominations for the 2001 Billboard Music Video Awards; Britney was named in the "Best Adult Contemporary Clip" category for "Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know", and Romeo was nominated in the "Best Rap/Hip-Hop New Artist Clip" category for his hit "My Baby"; winners will be named on November 2nd at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.
Concert Line: the Electric Light Orchestra have cancelled their U.S. tour; they were scheduled to appear at the New Orleans Arena on October 5th; former teen pop star Debbie Gibson will open for 'N Sync at the Superdome on August 22; tickets go on sale on Saturday for these upcoming House of Blues shows: Ani DiFranco, Wilco, Tricky, and Lucinda Williams; tickets for the Hurricane Fest go on sale on Monday, August 20th; see the Concert Page for more info.
Back It Up & Shake It: VH1's new series, "What's My 20?", which counts down the 20 all-time "greatest" music videos in a variety of categories as selected by VH1 viewers, will feature the hottest "Rumpshakers" in an episode airing on August 27th; videos making the list include Juvenile's "Back That Azz Up" (#6) and Mystikal's "Shake Ya Ass" (#11).
Hip Hop Awards: the 2001 Source Hip Hop Awards will take place on Monday, August 20th at the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach; nominees include Mystikal (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"); No Limit founder Master P will receive the Hip-Hop Image Award; scheduled presenters at the event include Cash Money Millionaires, Mystikal and Lil' Romeo; the show will air as a taped 2 hour special on August 28th on the UPN Network.
Nightline to Broadcast Armstrong Diaries: ABC's "Nightline" will broadcast recently discovered audio diaries of New Orleans jazz legend Louis Armstrong; this special edition of Nightline will air on Friday, August 17th (10:35 pm locally, on WGNO); see our TV listings for additional details.
C-Murder Wanted: New Orleans born rapper C-Murder (Corey Miller) is wanted by Baton Rouge authorities on multiple charges stemming from two different incidents; warrants for illegal use of a weapon and two attempted murder counts were issued for Miller after an altercation with a guard and the owner of a Baton Rouge nightclub on Tuesday night (08/14); the incident occurred when the rapper was denied entry into the club without first being frisked for weapons; he allegedly pulled a weapon before leaving, and attempted to shoot the owner; luckily, the gun malfunctioned and no one was hurt; Miller then fled the scene; in the second case, Miller allegedly forced his way into a Baton Rouge home in June, and held a person at gunpoint while looking for another person he'd had an earlier altercation with; he will be charged with aggravated burglary and aggravated assault with a firearm in this case; Miller is the brother of No Limit Records founder Master P, and the uncle of popular young rap star Lil' Romeo.