My Morning Jacket Round-Up:
Apparently My Morning Jacket was in very real negotiations with the Walt Disney Company (who acquired rights to the Muppet brand in 2004) to record new music for the Muppets band Electric Mayhem, with a full-blown tour to follow. It didn't happen, so MMJ finished Circuital instead. Now we hear that there's a new Muppets CD, The Green Album, which is a collection of songs from various Muppet productions, performed by various recording stars, including "Our World," done by MMJ. The album is a teaser for the upcoming Muppet movie, The Muppets.
Also, MMJ's Jim James, using the "Yim Yames" moniker, gets the lead vocal in a new L.A.-based tune and video, "Progress," by Booker T. Jones, longtime leader of Booker T. The M.G.s. The tune is from his new CD, The Road From Memphis.
It seems that some of the green vinyl discs that were shipped as part of My Morning Jacket's deluxe Circuital package were warped to the point of non-playability. Replacement discs are being sent to purchasers.
It's either the official blessing of stardom or the kiss of death, but either way, My Morning Jacket's Chicago show got reviewed by Rolling Stone, with the reviewer declaring "These songs are stadium huge; My Morning Jacket are now entering gods-of-thunder territory. "
As you might remember, Joan Osborne recently joined the Nashville-based band Trigger Hippy – not to be confused with "Trigger Hippie," which is the title of a Morcheeba song. According to the Sacramento Press, the group has added yet another member, singer-songwriter Jackie Green from Sacramento, who has previously joined forces with Gov't Mule and the Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh . The group is doing a few shows; the closest is in Nashville on July 30 at The Basement. We'll try to keep up.
Bonnie "Prince" Billy is, as always, one very busy fellow. His admiration for Merle Haggard was such that he wrote a new song inspired by the country legend. He's also releasing a 7" containing Haggard's "Because of Your Eyes" backed by British folk legend Roy Harper's "I'll See You Again." The release, on the Spiritual Pajamas label, will be limited to 1000 copies.
Camped out here in the heart of the East/South/Midwest, Louisvillians routinely lose track of the impact and status of the musicians who began/are here, making interesting music. We note with interest that the announcement about the September 27 release of VHS or Beta 's new CD, Diamonds And Death stirred up a whole passel of articles in the music blogosphere.
The problem with start-ups (at least with respect to those of us in the media) is that they usually spend their money on the business activity and not so much on media relations, which makes it hard for us to keep up with who's doing what. That's the case with Louisville start-up 32Leap, which has a relatively new iPhone app called Rockin Ted (as in Nugent). I only found out about them when Mark Maxwell of Mom's Music dragged me away from a workshop to introduce me to two of the principles, one of whom was cradling an infant (It was a Saturday afternoon). The company's primary business is building interactive, fun apps. Look for the app at the iPhone App store.
The gents at 32Leap were thrilled to announce that the character in their Rockin Ted app has been named the mascot for the Kentucky State Fair's Young Adult Project, which is running both a Battle of The Bands contest and a Songwriter Contest.
Dawn Landes' latest band, The Banana Splits, (which we mentioned a while back), has officially released their eponymous debut CD and will be playing some gigs in the New York area to support it. You can get it at their website at" http://www.ufomusic.com/artist/index.php?artist_id=267
The winner of Week 2 of the Beech Bend SuperStar contest was Brandy Neelly of Prospect, Kentucky. Brandy has auditioned for American Idol in Nashville, receiving the Golden Ticket to Hollywood. She wowed the Idol panel and made it to the top 100.
The Beech Bend Superstar contest runs each Saturday through August 27, 2011, with the finale taking place on Sept 3, 2011.
Posting from Ireland on her Facebook page, Andrea Davidson announced that she was thrilled to have won the Tipperary Song of Peace award last night with her tune, "Natchez Trace" . Kudos to her.
Duncan, Everett died on May 27, 2011. He was a musician who was both a solo performer and who played with mangy local bands, including Snowblind, Everett Duncan & RPM, Kessler's Friends, Everett & 3D, including performances at Phoenix Hill, Sunset East, Butchertown Pub and Maier's Tavern.