News in Review: Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Robert Plant, Ronnie Milsap, Gregg Allman
First Appeared in The Music Box, July 2010, Volume 17, #7
Written by John Metzger
Wed July 28, 2010, 06:30 AM CDT
Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, John Mellencamp, Others Honor Civil Rights Movement
Bob Dylan long has leant his voice to the civil rights movement. In 1963, he performed at the March on Washington that was led by Martin Luther King. This past February, in front of an audience that included President Barack Obama as well as members of his Cabinet and Congress, Dylan participated in an all-star concert honoring musicians who have supported the repeated calls for equal opportunities for all Americans. Joan Baez, Yolanda Adams, John Mellencamp, Smokey Robinson, Jennifer Hudson, and Natalie Cole also performed at the event. Dylan delivered a bare-bones rendition of The Times They Are A-Changiní, while Baez unleashed a powerful interpretation of We Shall Overcome.
Robert Plant Readies Band of Joy
Robert Plant has been busy of late, working in Nashville with an all-star cast of session players, including guitarist Buddy Miller, songwriter Patty Griffin, bass player Byron House, and multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott. Band of Joy, the resulting endeavor, is slated for release on September 14. Instead of penning new material for the outing, Plant opted to interpret a diverse collection of songs, ranging from Los Lobosí Angel Dance to the traditional folk tune Cindy, Iíll Marry You Some Day to the gospel-blues classic Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down. Band of Joy takes its title from the outfit in which Plant and drummer John Bonham played prior to the formation of Led Zeppelin. Plant will be touring with the collective throughout the summer and fall. Last year, Plantís previous outing Raising Sand, a collaboration with T Bone Burnett and Alison Krauss that was issued in 2007, won six Grammy Awards. Plant had promised to reunite with Krauss, but the project was placed on hold, at least temporarily, when Krauss resumed her longstanding relationship with Union Station.
Tennessee Names Another Official State Song
Tennessee already has more official songs than any other state. Nevertheless, in mid-June, Tennesseeís House and Senate agreed to add Smoky Mountain Rain to the list. The tune was penned by Ronnie Milsap, a native of North Carolina who later emerged from the music scene in Atlanta. Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, and Milsapís composition makes reference to Gatlinburg, which serves as one of the primary entrances to the park. In addition to Smoky Mountain Rain, Tennessee has seven other official state songs: Nell Grayson Taylor and Roy Lamont Smithís My Homeland, Tennessee, Willa Waid Newmanís When Itís Iris Time in Tennessee, Frances Hannah Tranumís My Tennessee, Redd Stewart and Pee Wee Kingís Tennessee Waltz, Boudleaux and Felice Bryantís Rocky Top, Vivian Rorieís Tennessee, and Fred Congdon, Thomas Vaughn, and Carol Elliotís The Pride of Tennessee.
Gregg Allman Gets New Liver, Preps Solo Album
On the morning of June 23, Gregg Allman checked into the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, where he received a new liver. Allman has been battling Hepatitis C for several years, and due to chronic liver damage, he had been placed on a waiting list while his doctors searched for a suitable donor. Lately, Allman has been busier with his solo outfit than with the Allman Brothers Band. His new album Low Country Blues was produced by T Bone Burnett and is expected to be released in January. Allman is also hoping to mount a lengthy fall tour to promote the endeavor. He had been planning to perform with the Allman Brothers Band at the third incarnation of Eric Claptonís Crossroads Guitar Festival, which was held in Chicago on June 26. Because of his surgery, however, he was unable to appear at the event. Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes, the current guitarists for the Allman Brothers Band, happily took his place.
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