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Me'Shell at the Jam Enjoying some time off Me'Shell Ndegeocello attended Pure & Natural's Crosstown Jam performance at Takoma Station in April to see brother Jacques Johnson, Jr. on guitar. The Johnson family, including saxman Jacques Johnson, Sr., has been active in WAMA events for several years. The show headlined Keith Killgo & Krosswinds and featured Maiesha Rashad & Lavender Rain, and Jerry Gordon.
DCCD-7 Spinning Forward
The DC101-sponsored Modern/Alternative Rock CD is well underway, having received over 200 submissions for the compilation. Tapes for the judges are currently being compiled by Omega Recording Studios, and will then be screened by the a panel of judges at Henninger Video. Once final selections have been made, Cue Recording Studios will master the CD, which will be replicated compliments of Europadisk.
The CD Committee is planning on a September release for the disk. WAMA would like to thank both the judges and those businesses whose donations of time and services help make the production of DCCD VII possible.
DC On the Charts
What Washington area artists are on the Billboard music charts? Several charts, including "Hot R&B Singles," lists DJ Kool, Toni Braxton, Crystal Waters, Johnny Gil, Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Kenny Lattimore and Dru Hill. Mary Chapin Carpenter ranks under "Country" and Born Jamericans is in "Hot Rap." Gospel's top albums include Yoland Adams and Richard Smallwood. dc Talk is under "Contemporary Christian" and Tori Amos hits in the top "Hot 100 Singles." The "Billboard 200" top-selling albums list includes the Dave Matthews Band and the Rollins Band.
BMI Makes Sponsorship Pledge
Rights Organization Sponsors Wammies, Education
BMI has agreed to become the title sponsor of the 1997 Wammies. Plus it has made a generous contribution to upcoming educational workshops, and a renewed commitment to advertising in WAMA publications.
Charles Feldman and Robbin Ahrold, executives of BMI, flew to Washington on three separate occasions meeting with members of the WAMA Education Committee to hammer out details of the agreement. Committee members include Joel Flatow, Jay Rosenthal, Kenneth Kaufman, Sherrie Fornoff, and Mike Schreibman. Schreibman said that he is "excited by the sponsorship agreement because it serves to strengthen the ties between the organizations."
The non-profit organization, represents more than 180,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers with a repertoire of more than 3,000,000 works in all areas of music. BMI distributes royalties to its songwriters, composers, and publishers, for the public performance and digital home copying of their works. In the future, BMI will distribute potential new royalties for the use of its artist's works in cyberspace.
The August/September (next) issue of WAMA News will include the BMI/WAMA 1997 Washington Area Music Awards (The Wammies) Nomination Ballot. The final ballot will be included in the October/November newsletter. A date for the Wammie Awards has not been set.
After last year's Wammies, the Board solicited comments from the WAMA membership regarding the voting process. The Board received very few comments. Therefore, no changes to the voting process are expected. However, comments are always welcome and should be sent immediately to be considered for this year's event. If you believe changes should be made, now is the time to speak up.
We encourage potential nominees to let the WAMA membership know what you've been doing. Send in your news items or consider advertising in the newsletter. We think Sy Sims said it best when he said, "An informed member is our best voter."
Local Notes Compiled by Maria Villafana
- Esmirelda had a boy: Noah Michael, born Feb. 17th, wt. 8 lbs 3oz. his dad is drummer John Grecco. Baby Noah has his mom's lungs!
- WNAV-AM located in Annapolis is looking for Washington area singer/songwriter releases to add to the station's play list. The station's current national artist play list includes Emmylou Harris, John Parka, Little Feat, Bonnie Raitt as well as new artists. Send a press kit to Jake Einstein at WNAV-Radio 236 Admiral Drive, Annapolis, Md. 21404 or call (410) 263-1430 for more information.
- In April Nils Lofgren jammed at the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp in Miami. Developed by John and Marsha Phillips the camp is a playground for wannabe guitarists willing to pay ($2,795 for 5 five days) to play and learn from the best musicians around.
- Bill Danoff has added the title of restaurateur to his list of accomplishments. The Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter and wife Joni Danoff have purchased the Palisades Cafe on MacArthur Blvd. in Northwest Washington and will re-open the eatery as the Starland Cafe. Named after Danoff's mid-70s group The Starland Vocal Band, the cafe will pipe in only local music and feature live acts at a later date.
- Wrangler City, the latest release from Ruthie and the Wranglers, was designated as the most added album on the Americana format stations and listed as chart bound by the Gavin Report. "Rockin' rockabilly with that countryfied twang we all desire" wrote Gavin's Rob Bleetstein.
- Doug Derryberry took off from his engineering duties at Rutabaga Studio in March and April to join A&M recording artist Jackopierce on stage playing lead during their national tour.
- The One Step Down, a Washington jazz landmark, has changed management. Due to declining health, long time owner/manager Joe Cohen has passed the baton to a group headed by Louis Rosenberg. The club plans to pursue a booking policy of Washington and national acts, presented seven nights a week, with a slant towards a New Orleans styled blues/jazz mix.
- Tom Prasada-Rao and the Grammy nominated duo of Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer showcased at this year's Kerrville Folk Festival. Now in its 26th year, the 18 day folk-fest gathers the top performers from around the country.
- On Saturday, August 9 the acoustic-centered Pat McGee Band will play Richmond's plush Carpenter Center along with Eddie From Ohio. The refurbished 2000-seat historic landmark is one of the few remaining "atmospheric" auditoriums in the country.
- Bill Kirchen appears on Upstart Record's Rig Rock Deluxe a truck driving song compilation that includes tracks by Buck Owens, Junior Brown and Son Volt. Kirchen contributes vocals and raucous guitar on several cuts including the lead track, Don Walter's version of Truck Drivin' Man. The compilation received an Indie award at this May's NAIRD convention held in New Orleans for Americana Album of the Year, NAIRD's first such recognition of the genre.
- First Power Entertainment, a full-service entertainment business facility, opens July 1 in Riverdale, Md. The combination record label, recording studio, rehearsal space and publisher of StreetJam magazine is operated by Shirley and Adrianne Harris. For details or a facility tour during its month long open house, call 301/ 277-1671.
- Valerie Vigoda is currently a side-woman lending background vocals and electric violin in Cyndi Lauper's summer tour band.
The Nighthawks at 25
- The Nighthawks celebrated its 25 year anniversary in April at the Moondogs club outside of Pittsburgh by co-headlining with Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers. Thackery, who played with The Nighthawks from the blues band's inception until 1986 when he left to form his own group, jammed with the Nighthawks unit for the first time in 11 years playing some classic hawks tunes. "It was emotionally charged," said hawk Mark Wenner.
Washington Rock And Roll
- Mark Opsasnick has compiled "Capitol Rock" an overview of Washington's rock and roll music scene from 1951 to 1976. The 264-page history is available at Joe's Record Paradise or Imagination Books in both located in the Silver Spring area.
Daryl Davis Rallies
Backing-up Chuck Berry on keyboards, Daryl Davis appeared May 2 on the Late Show with David Letterman. Berry and the band performed two numbers, Let It Rock which aired, and Rollover Beethoven for the studio audience.
When he's not playing with Chuck, Davis tours with his own band and tries to "exchange cultural diversity with members of the Ku Klux Klan" during his free time. "I show up at Klan rallies and interview members, see what makes them tick." Daryl Davis' new book "Klandestine Relationships," a chronicle of conversations with Klan members and subsequent reflections, will be published by New Horizon Press in early November.
- If you want to relive the last few days of the old 9:30 Club and experience some of the bands that sparked the beginning of D.C.'s alternative/punk scene 9:30 Live! A Time, A Place, A Scene is now out on Adelphi/Genes Records. It is live recording, two CD set with songs from the Urban Verbs, Tiny Desk Unit, Mother May I, Insect Surfers, Tru Fax & the Insaniacs and Black Market Baby. Produced by Larry Packer and Gene Rosenthal, the tracks were recorded and mixed by Packer at Uncle Punchy Studios.
Changes in Euphoria
- Euphoria has parted ways with bassist Kelly Keys. The band will miss Kelly and wishes him the best in all his endeavors. Filling in on the bass is local rock veteran Dale Alestock (previously played with the Roadducks, among others). Future plans for the band include recording new material and continual regional touring in support of the critically acclaimed debut CD "grin."
CMAG's New Music Catalog
Promote your music and increase your sales through CMAG's New Music Catalog & Local Music Store Online. CMAG also provides Order Fulfillment Services to make it easy for your fans to purchase your music. CMAG takes the calls, processes the orders, tracks the sales and gets your music in the mail.
CMAG is offering its complete set of services to WAMA artists for 50% off the regular signup fee. Contact CMAG at: 301-468-3552 or info@LocalMusicStore.com or www.LocalMusicStore.com
Change of Life
- "It Only Takes A Minute To Change Your Life" Willie Jolley's new book, published by St. Martin's Press, has entered a third printing since its February release. The inspirational singer and motivational speaker will release an accompanying album of inspirational music and motivation "It Only Takes A Minute To Change Your Life...The Music" next month. His achievements have not gone unnoticed in the leadership and self-development arena, he has been invited to address the National Speakers Association National Convention to be held in California this July.
Ruthie `Most Added'
Ruthie and the Wranglers' debut CD "Wrangler City," released on the band's own Lasso Records, is receiving national critical acclaim. Recorded at Hit & Run Studios, Rockville, MD, engineered by Steve Carr, and produced by Mark Noone, the CD was sent to 200 radio stations around the country, including all Americana format stations and selected Country and AAA stations. The album was also submitted to several national publications where it is receiving rave reviews. "Wrangler City" entered the Americana radio charts as "most added album" at #23, jumped to #15 and is still climbing the charts. A March tour to support the release took Ruthie and the Wranglers from Texas to North Carolina, for club dates along with appearances at radio stations that are airing "Wrangler City."
A feature in Billboard stated: "Drawing from all things country but presenting it in an insurgent manner separates Ruthie and the Wranglers from your everyday Nashville pack. That, and a songwriting flair, aided by former Slickee Boy Mark Noone, which is nothing short of brilliant." Also, they were selected to perform in Nashville on the Americana Showcase at Extravaganza '97, a music showcase & conference sponsored by the Nashville Entertainment Association.
Paul Mathieu of the Washington Guitar Quintet with Charlie Byrd, 1996 Wammie award winners, has recently joined the Wranglers as lead guitarist.
Cicadas Are Coming! Cicadas Are Coming!
- The Cicadas, a new group formed by Rodney Crowell and includes Washington guitarist Steuart Smith and Washington drummer/vocalist Vince Santoro, played its first gig on May 15 at the Exit Inn in Nashville. Santoro, whose past credits include the Highwaymen, Edgar Winter and Roy Buchanan, shares lead vocal duty with Crowell. Smith, who co-produced the Cicadas' new Warner Bros. release with Crowell, most recently completed a tour with Shawn Colvin. The Cicadas are currently playing dates across the country. The group will appear on Late Night with David Letterman on July 1.
Beyond The Region
- Straight-ahead toe-tapping rock and roll from the Dumm-Dumms on its latest album Oxymaroon. The base, guitar and drums trio co-produced the upbeat CD with Grant Rutledge at Montana Studios in Richmond. Afraid to Smile and Amphibian are among the Glass Tube Records' release spunkier tunes.
- Promoting "better living through rock and roll" Rakatan Music continues its mission with a new CD, Top Secret Line from Melanie Ray. The singer/guitarist has assembled a collection of bluesy new wave sounding songs linked by "other musical realities" such as galloping horses, treefrogs and rushing water. Man About The Town Blues a strutting more blues laden number than the rest of the cuts on the album brings out the best in Melanie Ray.
- Who Killed Wilhelm Reich? Mebane's new CD release on Third Rail Records is an unusual project. Singer/songwriter Mebane Robertson has a voice that takes some getting used to before the intricacies of his lyrics can be truly appreciated. The 12 tracks consist of Mebane's poetry set to music with drummer Chris Stanley and bassist Randy Savage adding a musical shell. The album was engineered by Richard Hasal at Sound of Music in Richmond.
Copyright © 1999 by Washington Area Music Association.