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SEAN COSTELLO Memorial Concert To Be Held March 1

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 16, 2009 at 4:34 PM

The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research will hold its first benefit concert Sunday, March 1, 2009 at the North Atlanta High Center for the Arts. Performers at the event include Lurrie Bell [2008 Living Blues Awards for Blues Artist of the Year and Most Outstanding Guitarist], The Wood Brothers [debut disc named one of National Public Radio’s top ten discoveries of 2006], King Johnson, Felix and the Cats with Jon Liebman, and the Soul Shakers. Tickets are $30 and will be available online and at the door. Donations are tax deductible.

The benefit emerges as the first project of The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research, an organization founded by his mother, Debbie Costello Smith, upon Sean’s untimely passing. Sean, who played with legends like B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Etta James, and Pinetop Perkins, among many others, was acclaimed for his musical prowess at a very early age. He was designated the Beale Street Blues Society Best Performer at age 15; was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award for his album Cuttin' In in 2000; was voted Best Blues Band in Creative Loafing and Atlanta magazine; was featured on the cover of Blues Revue in February of 2002; and was named the Best New Act by the French Blues Feste in 2003. Most recently, Sean was nominated for two Blues Music Awards: Best Contemporary Blues Album and Best Contemporary Blues Male Artist of 2008.

Sean passed away suddenly in April last year on the eve of his 29th birthday, after quietly battling depression and anxiety for more than 10 years. It was only a year before his passing that Sean was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. At the time of his passing, he was in treatment to overcome the debilitating symptoms of this mood disorder and the often associated self-medication.

For more information, please visit www.seancostellofund.org

SIMON AND GARFUNKEL Reunite for NYC's Beacon Theater Grand Re-Opening

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 16, 2009 at 10:36 AM

Following a seven-month renovation, New York City's renowned Beacon Theater celebrated its grand re-opening this past Thursday night in star-studded fashion. Guests including Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi, and NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg turned out to watch Paul Simon play the inaugural gig, but were then treated to a surprise reunion with Art Garfunkel.

Simon and Garfunkel performed "The Sound of Silence," "The Boxer," and "Old Friends," marking just their third appearance together since concluding a 2004 reunion tour. Garfunkel flew in from Key Largo, Florida, where he had played the night before, for this memorable event.

(Source: Billboard.com)

ROCK ON THE RANGE 2009 To Feature Slipknot, Motley Crue, Alice in Chains, Avenged Sevenfold, and Korn

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 13, 2009 at 5:19 PM

Rock on the Range will return to Columbus, Ohio’s Crew Stadium Saturday May 16 and Sunday May 17. The 2009 line-up for the nationally renowned festival will be highlighted by performances from some of rock's biggest artists, including Mötley Crüe, Slipknot, Alice In Chains, Avenged Sevenfold, and Korn.

"We try to listen to our fans, and they've been saying for years that we should play at Rock On The Range," said Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe. "We're really excited to play one of America's great rock festivals."

Presented by Right Arm Entertainment, AEG LIVE and Crew Stadium, the two-day, multi-stage music and lifestyle event will feature a potent line-up of more than 35 bands. This year's well-rounded mix of top rock artists also includes Shinedown, Buckcherry, The Used, Atreyu, Chevelle, Flyleaf, Saving Abel, Saliva, Blue October, Hoobastank, Black Stone Cherry, and many more.

In 2009, the event's third outing, Rock on the Range will also increase their "Go Green" initiative via an online portal that allows fans to recycle old cell phones and mp3 players for free tickets and ROTR memorabilia and official festival merchandise. ROTR is the first festival to have an online recycling trade-in rewards component.

Tickets for Rock on the Range, as well as VIP packages that include festival tickets, hotel accommodations, and festival merchandise, go on sale Saturday, February 21, at 10:00 AM (EST) via www.rockontherange.com, Ticketmaster, and at the Crew Stadium box office. Two-day ticket packages will start as low as $99.50. 

Jazz Guitarist Grant Geissman Keeps Things 'Cool'

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 13, 2009 at 4:57 PM

After a long flirtation with smooth jazz, guitarist Grant Geissman went back to his jazz roots and came up with the most personally satisfying statement of his career in 2006's Say That!, his paean to the golden era of Blue Note-Riverside-Verve with obvious nods to the likes of Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, Horace Silver, and Jimmy Smith.

For his follow-up, Geissman reveals a wildly eclectic streak on Cool Man Cool. From scorching bebop to Latin jazz romp to poignant ballad to jaunty Hot Club of France tribute, with touches of calypso, second line grooves, shuffle blues, greasy organ-fueled funk, and '50s-styled exotica along the way, Cool Man Cool showcases a wide range of Grant’s musical interests.

"The original idea was to try and write in different jazz or jazzy styles that I thought were cool," says Geissman. "Hence the title. Then as the project developed it also became about inviting some old friends of mine that I've always thought were cool to come play. So that became the dual concept of the project—cool music I like to play, cool people I like to play with."

To that end, Grant invited a whole host of stellar guests, including Chick Corea, Chuck Mangione, Tom Scott, Russell Ferrante, Patrice Rushen, Jerry Hahn, Mike Finnigan, and Van Dyke Parks, to help him realize his vision. Along with a core group of bassist Trey Henry, drummer Ray Brinker, and saxophonist Brian Scanlon, Geissman has fashioned a project that radically shifts stylistic gears from track to track.

"I think I must have musical ADD," he says, laughing, "because I can't stay on the same vibe too long, certainly not across a whole record. I either don't have the attention span, or the way I like to play encompasses more than just one genre at any time. I like the idea that just when someone thinks they have a handle on what the music—or my playing—is about, they hear the next track and go, 'Oh!' But I think it somehow hangs together."

(Adapted from Bill Milkowski's liner notes)
 

Eric Clapton and Stevie Winwood To Tour Together in Summer 2009

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 13, 2009 at 12:56 PM

According to Billboard.com, former Blind Faith bandmates Eric Clapton and Stevie Winwood will do an arena tour beginning June 10, in East Rutherford, NJ, with dates booked through a June 30 show in Los Angeles, CA.

Clapton and Winwood had only performed together a handful of tmies before playing at Clapton's 2007 Crossroads Festival outside Chicago, which inspired them to team up for a run of shows at New York City's Madison Square Garden in early 2008. A CD/DVD of those performances will be out this spring, with details to be announced.

Here is a list of confirmed dates:  
June 10: East Rutherford, N.J. (Izod Center)
June 12: Philadelphia (Wachovia Center)
June 13: Washington, D.C. (Verizon Center)
June 15: Columbus, Ohio (Schottenstein Center)
June 18: St Paul, Minn. (Xcel Energy Center)
June 20: Omaha, Neb. (Qwest Center)
June 21: Denver (Pepsi Center)
June 23: Dallas (American Airlines Center)
June 24: Houston, Texas (Toyota Center)
June 26: Glendale, Ariz. (Jobing.com Arena)
June 27: Las Vegas (MGM Grand Arena)
June 29: Oakland, Calif. (Oracle Arena)
June 30: Los Angeles (Hollywood Bowl)
 

Taylor Guitars Announces 3rd Annual Road Show

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 13, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Taylor Guitars has announced it will bring the award-winning Taylor Guitars Road Show to dealerships across the U.S. and abroad in 2009. Now in its third year, the Taylor Guitars Road Show is a guitar lover's dream: a fun, lively in-store gathering that brings enthusiasts together with Taylor clinicians and experts straight from the company's factory in El Cajon, California. At each Road Show, the Taylor Road Show team shares insights on the company's guitar making process, including an informative demonstration on how body shapes and woods affect tone. After the demonstration, players are invited to take part in the show's most popular feature, the "Petting Zoo": an opportunity to pick up and play a variety of different models, as well as rare and custom Build to Order models. Admission to each Road Show is free.

At select locations, a special Electric Road Show will highlight Taylor's award-winning electric lineup, including the new and much-raved-about T3 and T3/B, the ever-popular Taylor SolidBody, as well as the versatile, top-selling electric/acoustic hollowbody, the T5. Attendees will also have the chance to explore Taylor's line of acoustic guitars, and have the chance to win the grand prize: an opportunity to build their own custom guitar through Taylor's Build To Order program.

The 2009 Road Show tour will kick off in March with multiple dates in California and Oklahoma, as well as an East Coast swing with special stops in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

In 2008, Taylor brought the Road Show to over 146 locations throughout the U.S., Germany and England. The Taylor Guitars Road Show was awarded the 2008 Supplier Excellence Award from Music Inc. magazine in the category of Events for putting "the excitement of the company's factory tours into retail dealers across the country."

For more information on Road Shows dates and locations, please visit the official Taylor Guitars Road Show calendar at www.taylorguitars.com/roadshow.

No Ozzfest in 2009

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 13, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Two-time Grammy Award winner Ozzy Osbourne has decided that he will not be touring until he has a new album in stores—currently projected to be Thanksgiving 2009. Thus, Ozzy has decided to put his namesake festival Ozzfest on hold this year.

Ozzy is currently in the studio in Los Angeles co-producing his 10th studio album, with Kevin Churko. The new CD is the rock 'n' roll legend's follow-up to 2007's Black Rain, which debuted in the Top 10 on the album charts in 11 countries and spawned Ozzy's first-ever #1 active rock track, "I Don't Wanna Stop." In the meantime, if you need an Ozz fix you can watch him with Sharon, Kelly, and Jack on the "first family of rock's" return to television. "The Osbournes: Reloaded" is set to launch this spring on Fox.

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