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Tommy Castro’s Gratitude - Just Out & Nominated For California Music Award

Tommy Castro has just released his new CD, Gratitude, capped with a CD release party at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall, March 14. The new CD features The Tommy Castro Band covering songs that have influenced Tommy’s life and his music, originally recorded by artists including John Lee Hooker, B.B. and Albert King, Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Ray Charles, James Brown, Chuck Berry, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett. Tommy and the band will be touring heavily throughout the year in support of the new release and the CD has already been nominated for a California Music Award.

Loudon Wainwright III in Tim Burton’s upcoming film, "Big Fish" and More

Loudon Wainwright III has an acting role in the new Tim Burton movie, "Big Fish". The film is currently in production and stars Ewan McGregor, Jessica Lange, Danny DeVito and Steve Buscemi, among others. Filming will continue into the summer with no word yet on a release date. Loudon has also been seen on the small screen recently with a recent guest appearance on Fox TV's "Grounded For Life" and has also been cast playing a TV Dad in a new pilot called "Dicks" for the WB network. Look for a new live album from Loudon in September and see him on tour throughout 2003 between acting commitments – see tour dates.

Bettye LaVette at the R&B Awards and Mountain Stage

Bettye LaVette made an appearance at the 13th annual R&B Awards held February 20 in New York City. Bettye presented an award to the Jackie Wilson family and then joined Isaac Hayes, George Clinton, Mary Wilson and others on stage for a group number. The group picture appeared in the New York Times on March 11 in conjunction with an article on the event. Bettye also performed on Mountain Stage on March 9 in Charleston, WV and was rewarded with a standing ovation from the enthusiastic audience. Mountain Stage is a nationally syndicated radio program and Bettye’s performance is scheduled to air on May 9.

Eric Bibb of The W.C. Handy All Stars Earns 5 Star Live Review from London Times

The London Times reviewed Eric Bibb’s recent concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall and gave Eric 5 stars exclaiming "opening night was a revelation, infused with an aura of spirituality." Eric will be featured in this Fall's W.C. Handy Blues All Stars tour along with John Hammond, Charlie Musselwhite and Otis Taylor. Eric's "Natural Light" CD will be released in the first week of September in the US. Otis Taylor will be releasing his new CD, "Truth Is Not Fiction" on June 24 and John Hammond has just released, "Ready For Love", produced by David Hidalgo of Los Lobos. This CD follows John's Tom Waits produced "Wicked Grin" CD and is already notching similar press raves and radio play. Charlie Musselwhite is also having a great year with 4 nominations in the W.C. Handy Blues awards on the heels of a Grammy nomination for his latest CD, "One Night In America". Congress has declared 2003 the Year Of The Blues and The W.C. Handy All Stars Fall tour will highlight the Year Of The Blues with some of the most talented blues artists active in the realm today.

Mavis Staples and Bob Dylan sing together on forthcoming "Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan"

Mavis Staples and Bob Dylan are featured singing a duet entitled "Gonna Change My Way of Thinking" to be included on the forthcoming CD, "Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan" due in stores April 1. The song represents a rare duet performance for Dylan. The release also includes songs by Aaron Neville and the Fairfield Four, among others. See Mavis Staples tour dates.

Duke Robillard Wins International Honors At Maple Blues Awards

Duke Robillard was chosen International Blues Artist of the Year - for the second year in a row - at the Maple Blues Awards, held in Toronto in January. Watch for More Conversations In Swing Guitar from Duke coming April 8 (March 18 in Canada). More Conversations is a follow up to the acclaimed Conversations In Swing Guitar and once again features Duke and the legendary Herb Ellis.

More Conversations In Swing Guitar advance order at >>

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