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Americana Idol: A Conversation With Lucinda Williams, Plus Michael Jackson, Donovan, Jonathan Tyler, Serena Ryder, and more

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Though Lucinda Williams' music spans various decades and genres, her unique musical amalgam mostly is identified as that tasty stew called "Americana," a field that gladly embraces virtually all artistically motivated, guitar-driven groups in the House that The Byrds and Burritos built as well as prolific singer-songwriters.

Released in late 2008, her last album, Little Honey, was nominated for 2009's Grammy for Best Americana Album--her 13th nomination--and last year, she began celebrating her 30th anniversary of making honest, full-throttle records that never compromise or let down discerning listeners.

Some of her classic albums that are or should be in your collection include Car Wheels On A Gravel Road, World Without Tears, and West as well as Little Honey; and if you were lucky enough to catch one of her Fall 2007 concerts--during which she played her entire catalog--you would have witnessed an onstage Lucinda Williams fan club, its membership comprising of Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Allison Moore, Ann Wilson, David Byrne, Shelby Lynne, David Johansen, Jim Lauderdale, John Doe, Yo La Tengo, and others.

She is a country-folk-rock icon, she was dubbed "Best American Songwriter" by Time magazine in 2002, and although she's enjoying a little domestic bliss with her husband/manager Tom Overby, judging from her thirty years of perfecting that trademark "Lucinda Williams" sound, she's incapable of slowing down. Like ever.

Mike Ragogna: What have you been up to since the release of your last album, Little Honey?

Lucinda Williams: Well, we bought a house two years ago February, then the record came out, and we had to go right on the road. It's been a crazy last couple years, very hectic. We've been touring pretty much non-stop supporting the album, and there've been some side projects I've done, singing on different people's records. We've been back and forth for a couple of weeks, then gone again, so when we've been home, we've been doing projects around the house.

MR: You performed in Cleveland at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame a few months ago. What was that like?

LW: It was a Janis Joplin tribute, it was part of their Masters Series, they do it every year. I played a couple of Janis Joplin songs, and I wrote a song about her called "Port Arthur" that I finished, literally, backstage before I went out.

MR: Which Joplin classics did you sing?

LW: I sang "Me And Bobby McGee" and that Big Mama Thornton song, "Ball And Chain." It was a little bit of a challenge, it's always hard to learn a new song for the first time, and I wanted to try and make it my own. It's hard with Janis Joplin because, with those songs, she was singing very elaborative, if that's the word.

MR: And with "Ball And Chain," you had the original to check out.

LW: I went back, researched it, and went to the Big Mama Thornton version, just to get a straighter rendition of it. I wasn't sure if I was really gonna be able to get behind it because it wasn't really my style. I'm more into Delta blues as opposed to Chicago blues. It was hard when I was just sitting with my guitar trying to figure it out.

But then when we got there, they had a house band that was comprised of all these great players, like some of the Muscle Shoals guys who played with everybody, so they have all this stuff down. I told them ahead of time what songs I was going to play, and when I got there, they had a rehearsal bay set-up. It was the day before the show. They set it up in this room, and all the artists went in, one after the other, and ran through whatever song they were going to do with the band. But it was all very spontaneous, and we pulled it off somehow.

MR: Janis Joplin isn't an easy mimic.

LW: With a lot of Janis' music, she would kind of add verses and be saying stuff in-between. I just told the audience that no one can sing Janis Joplin like Janis Joplin. Nobody can really follow her versions of those songs, it's really difficult, although, one of the artists who performed, Susan Tedeschi, did an amazing job. She just nailed it, she had all the vocal nuances and Joplin vocal thing. I was really impressed. As for myself, I said, "I'm not even gonna try and go there."

MR: What are your thoughts on the importance of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame?

LW: Well, I think anything is good when it gives a nod of appreciation to the history of what an artist has done. It's kind of like, I guess, a museum of sorts, or like the Grammys. In the musician's world, I would consider it a great honor to have my name in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It's sort of like a lifetime achievement type thing, you know, with peers and other people in the business saying, "Hey, we appreciate what you've contributed." It's nice to get those things. It's always nice to be appreciated.

MR: And you've been "appreciated" yourself with quite a few Grammy awards and nominations, such as for Little Honey that was up for Best Americana Album at the last award show.

LW: (laughs) Yeah, it's funny, I hadn't realized there were so many. I've been nominated thirteen times, and won three Grammys altogether, all in different categories. It's kinda cool, actually.

MR: It used to be cool to snub the Grammys or publicly trash them because the awards are decided by insiders. But I bet when you hear you're nominated for one or when you actually receive one...

LW: (laughs) I remember before I got nominated for my first one. It started to change when Bonnie Raitt won that Grammy, this was back when I was still struggling along. At that time, I was still part of the underground or I was the underdog, whatever. But I remember my peers saying, "Oh, wow, that's so great, Bonnie Raitt won a Grammy!" She was really the first of that type of artist, and at the time she got it, there weren't really people winning that you could get excited about or connect with musically, you know? (laughs) I remember after that, things shifted. It was kind of like, "Okay, FINALLY they recognize someone from that other world."

MR: It also took a while before NARAS finally acknowledged the "flannel" crowd.

LW: (laughs) That's a funny way of putting it.

MR: But the truth is, as cool as those acts were, in the end, they were into getting their awards. How can you not be, enter human nature.

LW: Right, anyone who says they don't care about winning one, I don't know...

MR: Someone very close to you just got an award, right?

LW: My dad's from Arkansas. Originally, he's a poet, and he was just awarded the Porter Prize. It's an award they give out every year, kind of like a lifetime achievement award for poetry. He got it in October, they had a reception and a dinner, and he got up and read several poems.

MR: Let's talk about your "style." You're not easily categorized because you play in so many different genres. I mean, you don't overtly shift your musical approach for every album, though each one is unique, mostly unlike the last. It seems that you're just writing and recording what you're feeling, unconcerned about sticking to a template.

LW: Yeah, I'm basically a singer-songwriter, and I just approach it in the way the artists I grew up listening to did before things became so categorized. If you go back and listen to the contemporary folk singers of the day, there are a lot of styles there. A lot of the albums by The Band or Buffalo Springfield--a couple of my early inspirations--if you break their songs down, they had country and more.

MR: What do you think were some of the factors?

LW: For one thing, different guys in the band were contributing songs. I think "Kind Woman" was a kind of country and rock song. So, it was all mixed-up, but it didn't matter, it was Buffalo Springfield, and that was it. You knew what you were getting. And obviously, Bob Dylan, you know, his stuff was always Bob Dylan. It wasn't, "What is this?" It's folk, country, rock, whatever. The same goes for The Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival...it was all just a big jumble. Even Judy Collins covered all styles.

MR: And Joni Mitchell, with folk, jazz, rock...

LW: Yeah, they all did it. And Neil Young. I just listened to the songs before I started writing a lot. If I liked the songs, I'd do them. It didn't matter, I would just make it my own.

MR: And all these years later, "Lucinda Williams" has become a very credible brand.

LW: That's what I've always wanted to be. Like I was saying, "Bob Dylan," and... (laughs)

MR: You laugh, but didn't Time magazine single you out as America's best songwriter in 2002?

LW: Talk about an honor, my God, I was SO humbled.

MR: And you're in an overly-talented class with contemporaries such as John Hiatt, Nanci Griffith, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams...

LW: And I know them all! So, I was like, "Wait, no, what about John Prine?" And then I was reassured. Someone said they did a different one every year, it was just for that year, and I was like, "Okay, okay." (laughs)

MR: But maybe there's something to this. Maybe what separates you is that you're approaching things from a wider-angled lens. For instance, not many have performed their entire catalog on tour.

LW: Yeah, that was fun. Actually, Tom came up with that idea. He's got the marketing genius down, that's why he's lasted so long in the music industry.

MR: And he was Mr. Best Buy.

LW: Exactly, and he did A&R, and he was at Fontana, UMG for a long time.

MR: How long have you been working together?

LW: We've been together for about...we're going on five years. My last manager, Frank Callari, who I was with for about ten years, suddenly died. We were over in Europe, and he'd been having health issues. Well, Tom was looking for a career change, he gave his notice to Fontana, and just stepped-in. It's been great because he definitely brings his marketing prowess, A&R talents, and all this other stuff with him into the management. A lot of people manage, but it's a day-to-day kind of thing, they don't sit there and say, "Hey, what about this idea?" Tom's really good at that.

MR: Plus it's great to be on an artist-friendly label like Lost Highway. It seems that the label has done a better job than your previous labels at raising the public's consciousness about your work.

LW: Yeah. You know, in the beginning, with Lost Highway, due to the success of Car Wheels..., that's when they started the label. It was kind of built around the success of the kind of music I was doing. Car Wheels... just surprised the hell out of everybody. You know, here was this rootsy, singer-songwriter-type album that jumps out of nowhere and wins a Grammy. Everybody went, "Wow, maybe we can build something around this, these types of artists, like Ryan Adams, and have people pay attention to us, finally, on a bigger scale." So, that's how it all started, with that premise.

MR: Before Car Wheels... was released, wasn't it originally going to be on Mercury? This album has a bizarre history, right?

LW: I was actually on Mercury. Danny Goldberg was running it at the time. Thanks to him, the album finally came out. This goes back to when everything got held up which was due to music business stuff. It was back when a lot of the labels were going under and things were shifting. I kinda got caught up in that for a while, where I would be on one label and it would go under, then I would find another one.

MR: Yeah, you've had a challenging run with labels.

LW: That's why there didn't seem to be any consistency in the behind-the-scenes stuff, because I went from Rough Trade to RCA to Chameleon/Elektra, and when Chameleon folded, I went to American with Rick Rubin who was initially the executive producer of the third edition of Car Wheels... Then when we finished the album, he started having problems with American. And here's what a lot of people don't know: Car Wheels... was finished and in the can and got held up for an entire year because Rubin wouldn't let it go since he was in the process of changing distribution from Sony.

MR: So, of course, your project progressively gets more caught-up in the politics and the machine.

LW: Everything got held up, and everybody was freaking out and calling, "We gotta get this thing out!" So, Danny Goldberg at Mercury wanted it, tried to get it from Rick, and Rick didn't want to budge, and this went on for an entire year. Finally, Rick said okay. They did the deal, Mercury paid Rick, and it came out.

MR: Enter Lost Highway.

LW: You know, Luke Lewis ran the Nashville division of Mercury Records, and that's how Lost Highway got started. Then the record came out, but initially, everyone was so paranoid about it. They didn't want people to think it was country, though the label was based in Nashville. I mean, I was wearing cowboy hats already, whatever, you know. Kinda like that Barbara Mandrell song, "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool." (laughs)

I remember at the Triple A convention in Boulder, I was supposed to perform and I was wearing cowboy hats at the time. I was on Mercury and I was told, "I don't think you should wear a cowboy hat at this thing, they might mistake you for being country." Of course, typical rebel me, freaked out--"I'll wear my damned cowboy hat if I want to!" (laughs) They were so concerned about the image. Then a year later, all the heavy-metal rockers were wearing cowboy hats.

MR: Again, ahead of the curve.

LW: Yeah, a little bit of that. A lot of people in the business were very timid, or that was how things were getting. They just got so conservative, you know, "I don't wanna rock the boat, I don't want to lose my job, blah, blah, blah..." Gone were the days of the John Hammonds.

MR: Personally, I think that's why the major labels are in such a mess. All the problems conveniently are blamed on digital downloading, but I think the bigger problem is that music execs--the de facto patrons of the field--have lost their fighting spirit and real belief or feel for the music. It's no longer a brave caste, and this goes beyond merely saving face for having a flop. Real creative people who are supposed to be overseeing or helping the careers of other creative people just can't survive, let alone succeed, in these hyper-aggressive atmospheres.

LW: I know, and people just got discouraged about it, or like you said. People would be let go or they'd leave. I remember there were some great people in this industry, like when I went from Rough Trade to RCA. I was real skeptical about joining a major label. I loved being on Rough Trade, but it was getting to the point where they were limited as far as what they could do. They had a limited staff of people, and record stores wouldn't order that many copies of the album. Unless you were on a major label with major distribution, you just couldn't get anywhere, you know? Rough Trade did a great job, they did everything they could do, but then it was kind of like, "Okay, I need to take the next step."

My record (Lucinda Williams) started getting a lot of attention, but before that, I couldn't get signed to save my life. Rough Trade put that record out, and all the press just went crazy. Then I started getting interest from the majors. RCA came along, and Bob Buziak was the guy signing people. He had an independent spirit. He was signing acts like The Cowboy Junkies, Treat Her Right that later became Morphine, The Wildflowers, and all these kinds of bands. So I signed with RCA because he was there. Then some guy came in who didn't appreciate the independent spirit and wanted to do things differently, and Bob said, "Well, see ya."

MR: And Lucinda Williams is now stuck on a very different RCA Records.

LW: I didn't want to be there anymore after that. Bob left and, of course, took all the cool people with him.

MR: What was that new reality like?

LW: This was right before Sweet Old World came out. We're having a pre-production/rehearsal thing-y with this A&R guy in the room with us. I was with my old band that I did the Rough Trade record with, and we're talking about the production of the album and who would be good to do it with. I mentioned Bob Johnston and I said, "I like Blonde On Blonde" or something like that, and I swear to God that this A&R guy says, "Blonde On Blonde? Is that a band?" We all looked at each other like, "You've got to be kidding me?" This guy's credibility went out the window...like, I was supposed to do a record with this guy? Eventually, we cut some tracks, and he started sending some of them to Dave Thoerner in New York to remix for radio. He called me up and said, "I got the tracks, come listen," and I went to his office. He's jumping up and down in his Gucci shoes... "Isn't it great?" he says. "It sounds like a record now!"

Of course, the bass and drums were pushed way up front, and my vocals pushed back which was the sound they wanted back then. I sat there looking at him and said, "No, I hate it. It sucks." I hated it and I hated him! I didn't say, "I hate you," but I was frustrated, and I was scared, you know? I hadn't done a lot of records, and I was terrified of being over-produced. I mean, a lot of this stuff now, I probably wouldn't make such a big deal over. But, for me, back then, I was so innocent, and I didn't want to ruin my art. I was real, real skeptical about the business part of things because I'd been on my own for so long.

MR: It's always served you well, you being your own A&R team.

LW: I just trusted my instincts. I finally got off the label, they knew I wanted to go, but they didn't want to let me go. Finally, I was on a panel at South By Southwest, Bill Lloyd was also on it. The name of the panel was "How Does The Music Business Affect Creativity?" Well, I thought, "Okay, here's my chance," and I got up there and told my story without naming names. Sure enough, the next day, my manager at the time called and said, "Are you happy now? You're off the label!" He wasn't real happy about it, and I was like, "Yay!"

MR: Then you sign with Chameleon.

LW: I got a chance to go back with Bob because he joined Chameleon Records. The guy who had the band Sonia Dada started this label, he brought Buziak in.

MR: Yeah, Danny O'Keefe was there, and a few other smart acts.

LW: It was really cool. And then they folded. (laughs) And I thought, "Here I am again." Then I went to American.

MR: Which had to seem like an amazing signing to you.

LW: The beauty of that was the consistency. It was the first time that all my ducks were in a row. You know, finally, it was time to market me the right way, I had a manager I liked working with, and I liked the people at the label.

MR: Why wouldn't they? You have acres of integrity, and you're well-respected by fans, the press, and among your peers who are all over your records. Paste Magazine's Josh Jackson declared your duet with Elvis Costello "Jailhouse Tears" to be the fifth best country-rock duet of all time. (note: http://www.pastemagazine.com/high_gravity/2008/07/elvis-costello-lucinda-williams-the-best-countryro.html)

LW: Really? Yeah, there's a real sense of camaraderie. It's been really cool for me to finally feel like I've gained the respect, admiration, and friendship of these artists who influenced me, like Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, and Emmylou Harris.

MR: And you sing on many of your pals' albums too. What's one of your latest guest spots?

LW: I recently sang on this album that Ray Davies is doing. I got to meet and hang out with him. We were in England at the time, and he found out I was going to be over there. He was doing this album that's a little piecemeal, it's done whenever he gets a chance because he's been touring and stuff, and he's having different artists come in. Some of the material is older Kinks songs like the one I did called "A Long Way From Home."

MR: What was the recording process like?

LW: The track wasn't even cut, I just went in and did a vocal with him playing guitar. I asked who the tracking band was going to be, and, bless his heart, he said, "Well, there's this band called Wilco. They're coming in to cut the track, but I'm not going to be able to be here because I have to do this gig in Nottingham," or something like that. (laughs) He's such an Englander.

MR: Where did you record it?

LW: We did it in the old Kinks studio in the north of London. Afterwards, he and Tom and I had Indian food at this place he goes to all the time. God, it was amazing Indian food. We just hung out, talked, and he's just the sweetest guy.

MR: You have some great other pals, like Matthew Sweet who I think is a natural genius. A while back, I got to work with him on a compilation of his early material.

LW: Oh, God, I LOVE him! I just want to hug him every time...he's so SWEET!

MR: So to speak...yeah, he really is. I admired his work since he was a kid, his first three albums, to me, being real pop classics.

LW: I never worked with him until he came in with Susannah Hoffs to do harmonies. I had no idea that he was so advanced in terms of writing things out and arranging. Usually, when people come in and sing on something, it's kind of like how I am, I just go in and wing it. We sent him the track for "Rarity," and he came up with this different, four-part harmony thing, all arranged. He brought in Susannah and just told her where to sing. It was layered with harmonies, and I was just sitting there completely blown away. I'd never seen anybody work like that. I called him the Brian Wilson of his generation.

MR: He is, he's pure music. And he has this beautiful old Fender Rhodes. I remember when I saw it, I thought that, these days, anyone who's going to invest in an old-time instrument like that when you can easily use a synth sample really understands the essence of music. I was really impressed. So, are you working on a new album?

LW: Yeah, I'm always writing and always getting ideas and jotting stuff down. It's an ongoing thing, it's all the time. I keep them in a folder. Sometimes, I'll get a little bit further on one thing, then fiddle around with another. I don't always apply myself, though I'm not lacking in inspiration. When we went in to do Little Honey, it was really like doing West Part II because I had the majority of songs already written. I added a few new songs.

MR: Plus you're constantly playing live. Does that get in the way of writing?

LW: We've been touring for the last couple of years, pretty much, but I've still been getting ideas.

MR: What's your creative process like?

LW: A therapist told me one time, "Don't worry about it, you're working on a J-Curve." That's how I wrote all the songs for West, I ended up just writing and writing. And when I was writing songs for Essence, I was kind of going along, and Frank said, "You know, it's starting to get to that time," and I was like, "Yeah, yeah." Then all of a sudden, I just broke out my folder of stuff and sat there for ten days straight.

MR: So, it just happens when it hits you.

LW: I don't get up and write every day from noon to whenever. For me, once I get an idea for a song, then I'm fine, then I'm okay. It's just a matter of time before I get in that space to sit down and thrash it out. The time to worry is when you're NOT getting ideas or are inspired. Like the other night, we went out to see these artists who were in town at this little place called The Bootleg. We saw them, then there was this guy who played after them who we didn't know anything about. He was really good and inspiring, it was so refreshing to be inspired by an artist. Nobody knows who he is, he doesn't have a manager, he doesn't have a label, and he's playing guitar and harmonica with a vibe and a presence and something to say.

MR: What are the mechanics of your songwriting process?

LW: I get the skeletons of the songs and the melody. First, I get the idea, then I get a hook. Then I've got some skeleton with the lyrics, and then it's just a matter of filling it in. You know, it's just like journalism, I think. I approach songwriting that way.

MR: Yeah, I think you're right on. It comes from a similar spot, it's that same place.

LW: You know, besides being a poet, my dad was an editor. He taught creative writing, and he was my first editor. He was my first teacher, really, my mentor. When I first started writing songs, I showed him what I was doing. He taught me about the economics of writing, how not to use the same words over and over again. At a certain point, I stopped showing him everything. (laughs) When I was doing Car Wheels..., I was still showing him the songs, and I was trying to finish "Lake Charles"--I had been working on that for some months. I was trying to figure out the chorus where it says, "Did an angel whisper in your ear...," and my dad said, "I really think you should use another word besides 'angel.' You've already used 'angel' in 'Drunken Angel,' can't you think of something else? The 'devil' or something?" And I said, "Okay," and it was back to the drawing board 'til finally I said, "I'm just going to stay with 'angel.'" I said, "Dad, it's just gotta be this, nothing else is gonna work," and he said, "Okay, but you've used it up. You can't use it again." (laughs)

PRESS RELEASES THAT WILL WARM YOUR SOUL...

ESTATE OF MICHAEL JACKSON AND SONY MUSIC RENEW 30-YEAR RELATIONSHIP WITH LANDMARK RECORDING DEAL

New York, NY - Special Administrators for the Estate of Michael Jackson, John Branca and John McClain, and Sony Music will continue the label's 30-year relationship with Michael Jackson and his music with a landmark recording deal, it was announced today.

With this new agreement, Sony Music's Columbia Epic Label Group and Legacy Recordings will continue their term of rights to his catalog and also create new projects for Michael Jackson featuring the never-before-released Jackson recordings. The first project featuring unreleased music is expected for release in November 2010.

Rob Stringer, Chairman of the Columbia Epic Label Group comments, "Michael has always been a treasured member of the Sony Music family. We're dedicated to protecting this icon's legacy and we're thrilled that we can continue to bring his music to the world for the foreseeable future."

John Branca comments, "During his life, Michael's contracts set the standard for the industry, reflecting his unique vision and talents that inspired and excited people in every corner of the world. By all objective criteria, this agreement with Sony Music demonstrates the lasting power of Michael's music by exceeding all previous industry benchmarks. Each new generation produces countless new fans who appreciate Michael's artistry, requiring a partner that has Sony's wherewithal, business acumen and foresight to properly and respectfully showcase his genius well into the future."

As a solo artist with Epic Records spanning three decades, Michael has sold hundreds of millions of records worldwide and released thirteen #1 singles. Jackson became one of a handful of artists to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, won 13 Grammy Awards and received the American Music Award's Artist of the Century Award. Sony's Legacy Recordings has also created a number of successful projects such as the "Thriller" 25th anniversary album. The best selling album of all time worldwide by wide margin, "Thriller" showed the lasting power of Michael's music by returning to #1 on the weekly sales charts in 2008.

John McClain comments, "Nowhere did Michael set the bar higher than he did with 'Thriller,' which nearly three decades after its release by Epic remains by far the best-selling album in history worldwide with music that transcends generations. We believe we have a partner in Sony that knows and appreciates Michael's artistry as well as the passion of his fans. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Sony to preserve and enhance his remarkable musical legacy."

This past fall, Sony Music released the #1 two-disc album companion to the motion picture Michael Jackson's This is It " which has sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Released by Sony Pictures, the film made history as the highest grossing concert film of all time and the recently released DVD took the #1 spot in DVD sales, breaking the record for first-week's sales of a music film.

SERENA RYDER TO SPEND SPRING 2010 ON THE ROAD;

ACCLAIMED SINGER/SONGWRITER SLATES US HEADLINE TREK,

KICKING OFF APRIL 11TH AT SAN FRANCISCO'S CAFÉ DU NORD;

ITINERARY HERALDS TOUR ALONGSIDE BARENAKED LADIES,

WITH LILITH TOUR DATES SET FOR SUMMER

Atlantic recording artist Serena Ryder has announced details of her eagerly anticipated first ever US headline tour with a full band. Ryder will also be joined by Atlantic recording artist Ryan Star and fellow Canadians Cuff The Duke on her journey across the States. The dates begin on April 11th at San Francisco's Café du Nord and then continue through mid-May (see attached itinerary).

The headline tour - which follows Ryder's just-concluded trek alongside Howie Day - will be preceded by a series of dates supporting Stephen Kellogg, slated for later this month. What's more, the acclaimed singer/songwriter is also set to accompany her Canadian countrymen, Barenaked Ladies, on their upcoming US headline tour. That itinerary kicks off on May 16th at Davenport, Iowa's Adler Theatre and then travels the US through mid-June.

As if all that weren't enough, Ryder is set to appear on this summer's much anticipated 2010 Lilith Tour, joining a star-studded array of female artists that includes Sarah MacLachlan, Norah Jones, Mary J. Blige, Loretta Lynn, Tegan & Sara, Sara Bareilles, Colbie Caillat, and many others. Full tour details will be unveiled shortly.

Recently named "Artist of the Week" by Paste, Ryder made a stunning chart entrance last November with her full-length label debut, "is it o.k." The highly praised album - which includes the hit singles, "Little Bit of Red" and "All For Love" - premiered at #1 on Billboard's "Heatseekers Albums" chart, marking the week's top-selling album by a new or developing artist.

"is it o.k.," has already received gold certification from the CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association) in Ryder's native Canada, where it has earned reams of critical acclaim as well as the 2009 Juno Award for "Adult Alternative Album of the Year." In the US, "Little Bit of Red" proved a Top 10 sensation at Triple A radio, placing Ryder alongside Grammy Award-nominees Adele and Duffy as one of only three female artists to chart Top 10 at the format in the past year.

"All For Love," the latest single from "is it o.k.," is currently lighting up Hot AC radio outlets nationwide. The track was recently featured as a "Discovery Download" on the iTunes main page and became one of the highest non-holiday download promotions of the year with over 160,000 giveaways.

In addition, the "All For Love" companion video has proven a hugely popular clip, with total plays now exceeding 130,000. In addition, Serena's official MySpace Video channel features a wide array of original webisodes, behind-the-scenes footage, and exclusive live performances, such as her stirring cover rendition of Bruce Springsteen's classic "Racing In The Street."

Produced by Grammy Award-winner John Alagia (Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band), "is it o.k." has earned vociferous critical acclaim from all corners. The Washington Post hailed the album, noting that "what sets Ryder's songs apart are the emotionally charged, intelligent lyrics sung with the passion of a woman who knows the emotional intimacies about which she sings." "is it o.k." "exemplifies Ryder's love for eclecticism," decreed Paste, "highlighting her passionate pipes against a myriad of instrumental backdrops." "(She) attacks a lyric like a young Melissa Etheridge," affirmed O, The Oprah Magazine, while USA Today celebrated "Little Bit of Red" for its "driving urgency" and Ryder's "fervid singing." Phillyist.com praised Ryder's music "gritty, honest voice," adding that "her songs are raw and personal, easy to connect with, and most of all, well constructed. It's no wonder we're hooked - if you give her a listen, we think you will be, too."

A charismatic and tireless live performer, Ryder has spent much of the past year on the road, including 2009 tours alongside the Wallflowers and her Atlantic Records labelmates NEEDTOBREATHE. With countless tours in her native Canada, as well as the US, France, and Australia, Serena has shared stages with such artists as Eric Hutchinson, Paolo Nutini, Marc Broussard, and Xavier Rudd, not to mention performances at such festivals as Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Denver's Mile High Music Festival.

SERENA RYDER - ON TOUR 2010

3/30-4/1 w/Stephen Kellogg

4/11-5/11 Headline Tour w/ Ryan Star and Cuff The Duke.

* Cuff The Duke will not be opening ** Solo show without full band

5/16-6/5 w/Barenaked Ladies

MARCH
30 Pittsburgh, PA Rex Theater
31 Syracuse, NY Westcott Theatre

APRIL
1 Somerville, MA Somerville Theater
11 San Francisco, CA Café du Nord*
12 San Diego, CA Casbah
13 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour
15 Albuquerque, NM Low Spirits
17 Denver, CO The Walnut Room
19 Omaha, NE Waiting Room
20 Kansas City, MO Record Bar
22 Dallas, TX House of Blues - Cambridge Room
23 Houston, TX House of Blues - Bronze Peacock
26 Nashville, TN The Basement
27 Atlanta, GA Smith's Olde Bar
29 Greenville, SC Handlebar**
30 North Augusta, SC Downstairs Live**

MAY
1 Easton, MD NightCat
2 Arlington, VA IOTA Club & Café
3 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
5 South Burlington, VT Higher Ground
7 Toledo, OH Frankie's
8 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
10 Milwaukee, WI Shank Hall
11 Chicago IL TBA
16 Davenport, IA Adler Theatre
17 Minneapolis, MN Orpheum Theatre
21 Boise, ID Idaho Botanical Gardens
22 Spokane, WA Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox
23 Portland, OR Keller Auditorium
25 Santa Rosa, CA Wells Fargo Center
28 Reno, NV Grand Theatre, Grand Sierra Resort
31 Austin, TX Bass Concert Hall

JUNE
1 Tulsa, OK Brady Theatre
3 Knoxville, TN Tennessee Theatre
4 Richmond, VA Innsbrook After Hours
5 Charleston, SC N. Charleston Performing Arts Center

MUSIC ICON DONOVAN TO HEADLINE DAVID LYNCH FOUNDATION BENEFIT CONCERT ON MARCH 19 AT THE EL REY THEATER IN LOS ANGELES

(Los Angeles, CA) -- Legendary folk-rock-pop troubadour DONOVAN ("Mellow Yellow," "Sunshine Superman," "Epistle to Dippy," "There is a Mountain," "Wear Your Love Like Heaven," "Hurdy Gurdy Man," etc.) will headline a benefit concert for the David Lynch Foundation on Friday, March 19 at the El Rey Theater. Doors will open at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $25 (General Admission) $110 (VIP seating and a meet and greet with Donovan after the show) and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

"The Beatles and I brought back from India the lost art of meditation. Now with David Lynch, we pass it on to thousands of students world-wide . Join us to help save the world! Change Begins Within!", Donovan tells us as he prepares for the big night. Donovan will be joined by his daughter Astrella Celeste and backing band Jerry Vivino, Scott Healy & Mike Merritt (from the Conan O'Brien late night band), Danny Saber (on guitar) with special guests Jack Maness (Sublime), The Global Sound Lodge featuring Lanny Cordola & Matt Sorum (of Guns n Roses, Velvet Revolver, The Cult), Amrita Sen and more TBA. Mathew St. Patrick, from Six Feet Under, will host the evening performances.

WHO: Donovan And Friends

WHAT: A Benefit Concert for The David Lynch Foundation

WHERE: The El Rey Theater, 5515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles.
WHEN: 7:30 pm-- Doors open. 8:30 pm - Bruce Nathan (Every Boy) on vox Billy Masters (Suzanne Vega) on guitar Adam Topol (Jack Johnson) on drums Chris Joyner (Sheryl Crow / Wallflowers) on keys Jeff McElroy on bass 9:00 pm - Blessed the Strange 9:35 pm: Jack Maness (Sublime) 10:00 pm - Donovan & Friends - Donovan will be joined by daughter, Astrella Celeste, Jerry Vivino, Scott Healy & Rick Reed (from the Conan O'Brien Late Night Band). Throughout Donovan's set, he will be also be joined by special guests, Lanny Cordola & Matt Sorum (of Guns n Roses and Velvet Revolver), Peter Noone (Herman's Hermit), POE, Amrita Sen, Danny Saber (Black Grape/Alice Cooper), Poe, and Carla Olson (Textones) 11:30 pm - The Paris Escovedo Project

Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights to release national debut 'PARDON ME,' April 27 on F-Stop/Atlantic Records;

Plus JTNL is added to Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival line-up and is scheduled to make their late night debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

The band will celebrate the release with a slew of special performances, including their first late night TV appearance on April 8 on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC) and a supporting slot on Kid Rock's sold-out Chillin' The Most Cruise, which embarks from Tampa, FL on April 29. In addition, the band has recently been added to the star-studded line up for Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.

Prior to all that, the band will head to Austin for the South By Southwest Music Conference. There they will headline the Relix magazine day party on Friday at Antone's, in addition to several other appearances, including BMI's showcase on Thursday night, and the Relix magazine official showcase on Saturday evening. (See tour itinerary below).

JTNL wrote or co-wrote each of the songs on PARDON ME and recorded the album last August with producer Jay Joyce (Cage The Elephant, The Whigs, John Hiatt, Patty Griffin). Looking to capture the essence of their electrifying shows, the album was recorded live in Joyce's Nashville studio. "We were really critical about keeping things in the pocket and giving it a groove," said frontman, Jonathan Tyler. He added, "Letting the songs breathe and feel alive was the main thing that was really important to us."

The fiercely hard-rocking band has quickly earned a reputation for high-energy shows that has helped them to land key opening spots with the likes of AC/DC, Kid Rock, JJ Grey and Mofro, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Erykah Badu. Their major festival debut last fall at ACL was a huge success: thousands of fans gathered in the mud and rain to catch their set. The band drew the largest crowd ever assembled in front of the BMI stage at the festival and earned a rare ACL encore. "Tyler killed it," exclaimed Michael Corcoran of Austin American Statesman. He later wrote, "you might want to wear a headband so your face doesn't fly off."

That sentiment has been echoed by music critics nationwide, who have caught the band's live show and compared them to everyone from early Rolling Stones to The Black Crowes. Fans worldwide can now experience the intense live shows for themselves: the newly-launched www.jonathantylermusic.com offers audio from 12 shows that can be downloaded for free, with additional shows being added regularly.

PARDON ME due April 27 harnesses the bombastic rock n' roll energy found in Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights' live shows. When listening to tracks like "Devil's Basement" and "Gypsy Woman," it's clear the band expelled the same sweat and passion in the studio as they do on stage every night.

YOUR FAVORITE SONY ARTISTS AT SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST

JAKOB DYLAN
http://www.jakobdylan.com/
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 Paste & PureVolume's Tuesday Night Music Kickoff 11pm PureVolume House 504 Trinity Street
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 IFC interview & acoustic performance 11am 612 Brazos Street (7th and Brazos)
Thursday, March 18, 2010 Americana Music Association 11pm Antones 213 West 5th Street
Friday, March 20, 2010 Jakob Dylan SHOWCASE 1030pm St. Davids Church 304 East 7th Street
Saturday, March 20, 2010 Rachael Ray Party 2pm Stubbs 801 Red River St.

BAND OF HORSES
http://www.bandofhorses.com/
Thursday, March 18, 2010 1130pm Stubbs 801 Red River St.
Friday, March 20, 2010 855pm Central Presbyterian Church 200 East 8th Street

SAMUEL
http://www.myspace.com/samuelmusicnyc
Thursday, March 18, 2010 Lose Control 2010 215pm Vice 302 East 6th Street
Thursday, March 18, 2010 Neon Gold Party 10pm Lambert's Downtown BBQ 401 East 2nd Street

HEY MONDAY
http://www.heymondaymusic.com/
Friday, March 19, 2010 Ozone/Paradigm Showcase 1210am Cedar Door 201 Brazos Street
Saturday, March 20, 2010 Alternative Press Party 3:50-4:20 pm Emo's JR 603 Red River

RAPHAEL SAADIQ
http://www.raphaelsaadiq.com/
Friday, March 19, 2010 AOL showcase 4pm Austin Music Hall 208 Nueces Street

STEREO SKYLINE
http://www.myspace.com/stereoskyline
Thursday, March 18, 2010 PureVolume All Ages ACOUSTIC Showcase 315pm PureVolume house 504 Trinity Street
Thursday, March 18, 2010 Ozone Showcase 10pm Cedar Door 201 Brazos Street
Saturday, March 20, 2010 Alternative Press Party 120pm Emo's JR 603 Red River

NIKKI JEAN
http://www.myspace.com/nikkijean
Thursday, March 18, 2010 URB 20 Year Anniversary Show TBD Light Bar 408 Congress Ave.
Friday, March 19, 2010 Crush Showcase 8pm The Dirty Dog 505 E. 6th Street

J. COLE
http://www.jcolemusic.com/
Thursday, March 18, 2010 Best of All Worlds Showcase 1215am Aces Lounge 222 East 6th Street
Thursday, March 18, 2010 Urb Stage Time tbc Light Bar 408 Congress Avenue
Thursday, March 18, 2010 Multi blog showcase sponsored by Sweet Leaf Tea Time tbc Mess w/Texas space (parking lot next to Fader Fort)

LEGACY RECORDINGS ANNOUNCES FIRST ROUND OF NEW DIGITAL RELEASES FOR 2010

Classic Album Titles From Johnny Cash, Dave Mason, Blood Sweat & Tears, Eddie Murphy, New Kids on the Block, Angela Bofill, the Boo Radleys & Many Others To Be Released for the First Time in the Digital Realm Throughout March/April 2010

"Legacy is delighted with this year's first set of digital releases," said Adam Block, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Legacy. "With acknowledged classics and forgotten treasures from a variety of genres, we believe we're offering something for every discriminating music fan."

The Legacy Recordings spring 2010 Digital Audio Longplay release schedule includes:

Black Happy - Peg Head (1994), Friendly Dog Salad (1995), The Last Polka (1995)
A Christian heavy metal band in Idaho called the Sacramen mutated into Black Happy, a somewhat more secular funk-rock-party ensemble with that become one of the Northwest's most sought-after cult bands. Legacy is happy to offer the band's core repertoire, including The Last Polka, a collection of live tracks and outtakes.

Blood, Sweat & Tears - New Blood (1972), No Sweat (1973), New City (1975)
Though New Blood, the fifth BS&T album, marked a number of significant personnel changes, including the departure of lead singer David Clayton-Thomas, the band's drummer and album-producer Bobby Colomby carpe diemed the project into the Top 40 with a setlist that ran that gamut from Bob Dylan's "Down In The Flood" to Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage" with a single, "So Long Dixie," penned by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

BS&T's No Sweat, released in 1973, was produced by American jazz legend Steve Tyrell and features a cover of Traffic's "Empty Pages."

1975's New City marked Clayton-Thomas' return to the BS&T line-up with killer performances of "Ride Captain Ride," John Lee Hooker's "One Room Country Shack" and "Got To Get You Into My Life."

Colin Blunstone - One Year (1971)
As the voice of the Zombies, Colin Blunstone's murmuring breathy signature style was recognizable the world over through "Time of the Season," "She's Not There" and others. Blunstone's debut solo album, produced in collaboration with fellow ex-Zombies Rod Argent and Chris White, was recorded, literally, over the course of one year, from June 1970 through June 1971. Featuring four of Blunstone's original compositions, and heartbreaking cover of Tim Hardin's "Misty Roses," One Year is considered Colin Blunstone's solo masterpiece.

Angela Bofill - Too Tough (1983)
Bronx-born Latina R&B singer-songwriter-performer Angela Bofill came on strong with 1983's Too Tough, her second album for Arista. The album is a showcase of soulful ballads and dancefloor smashes performed by Angela and her band of heavy-hitters, including Sheila E on percussion, Randy Jackson on bass, Marc Russo on horns, and Narada Michael Walden on drums and keyboards kicking out an amazing setlist of fantastic originals and a definitive interpretation of "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing" featuring Boz Scaggs sharing co-lead vocals.

The Boo Radleys - Everything's Alright Forever (1992), Giant Steps (1993), Wake Up! (1995)
Named after the reclusive character in Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird" that launched Robert Duvall's career in the movie adaptation, the Liverpudlian Boo Radleys created a psychedelic trance-pop, a musical youth coup labeled "shoegazer" in the UK press, an unjustly overlooked subset of fin de siècle 90s BritPop. Everything's Alright Forever marked the Boo's debut for Glaswegian impresario Alan McGee's Creation Records in 1992. With a title inspired by the John Coltrane masterpiece, 1993's Giant Steps, the third Boo Radleys album, was named Album of the Year by both the NME and Select magazine in the UK. By far the Boo Radleys' most commercially successful album, 1995's Wake Up! peaked at #1 on the UK album charts while kicking out the Top 10 smash single "Wake Up Boo!"

The Bus Boys - American Worker (1982)
The ultimate in post-modern multi-cultural boogie-woogie bar-band irony, the Bus Boys reached an apogee of visibility when the Los Angeles-based African-American/Hispanic group, and two of their songs, were prominently featured in the Eddie Murphy/Nick Nolte action comedy smash "48 Hours." American Worker, the Bus Boys' second album for Arista, features the "48 Hours" hit "New Shoes."

Johnny Cash - Hello, I'm Johnny Cash (1970), The Johnny Cash Show (1970), Man In Black (1971), A Thing Called Love (1972), Johnny Cash and His Woman (1973), Junkie & the Juicehead Minus Me (1974), Sings Precious Memories (1975), John R. Cash (1975), Look At Them Beans (1975), One Piece At A Time (1976), The Last Gunfighter Ballad (1977) The Baron (1981), Adventures of Johnny Cash (1982), Rainbow (1985)

Legacy Recordings is proud to release a selection of essential recordings from the legendary Johnny Cash originally released from 1970-1985, a prolific and surprising epoch in the man in black's unparalleled career.

Included are: Hello, I'm Johnny Cash, a #1 Country/#6 Pop crossover featuring "If I Were A Carpenter," the chart-topping duet with June Carter Cash; the iconic #1 Country Album Man In Black; an album of duets with June, Johnny Cash and His Woman; several releases from 1975-76, a particularly eclectic period that would see Cash release a children's album, a gospel album (Sings Precious Memories), a covers album (John R. Cash), a country album (Look At Them Beans) and a live album; and Rainbow, Johnny's final album for Columbia Records.

The Darling Buds - Pop Said... (1988), Crawdaddy (1990)
With a name originating in a line in a Shakespearean sonnet ("Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May"), the Darling Buds were formed near Newport, South Wales in 1986 by 19 year-old vocalist Andrea Lewis. Where the group's debut album, Pop Said... offered a selection of catchy radio-ready pop tracks, their 1990 collection, Crawdaddy found the Buds blossoming with their most sophisticated and fully-realized music to-date.

Fastway - All Fired Up (1984)
Featuring Motörhead guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke, Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley and future Flogging Molly frontman Dave King, Fastway embodied that liminal period in rock history when pub-rock and heavy metal were mutating into a speedier music. All Fired Up, the second Fastway album, featured bassist Charlie McCracken.

Jan Hammer Group - Oh, Yeah? (1976)
Prague-born keyboard wizard Jan Hammer won a pair of Grammys in 1985 for his "Miami Vice Theme," a veritable touchstone for the decade. A profoundly influential ensemble player and solo artist, Hammer helped outline the possibilities of jazz-rock fusion with edge-cutting albums like Oh, Yeah?

Isaac Hayes - U-Turn (1986)
A forgotten hot-buttered-soul classic from the mid-1980s, U-Turn includes Hayes' emotionally charged interpretation of Freddie King's "Hey Girl" alongside the old-school anti-crack screed "Ike's Rap VIII" and the most sensuous "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" ever recorded.

Jermaine Jackson - You Said (1992)
You Said was Jermaine Jackson's first and only album for LaFace Records and is written and produced by the LaFace family: L.A. Reid & Babyface, Kayo, and Darryl Simmons. A dance-pop treasure, You Said stands among Jermaine's strongest solo collections.

Jules and the Polar Bears - Got No Breeding (1978)
American singer-songwriter Jules Shear, who's penned chart hits for Cyndi Lauper, the Bangles, Til Tuesday and himself, among others, first began making a splash in the late 1970s with his critically-acclaimed vehicle band, Jules and the Polar Bears. Mistakenly lumped in with the emerging new wave of its days, Jules & the Bears' Got No Breeding, with its canny mastery of mainstream pop, sounds both remarkably prescient and not-of-its-time.

Nils Lofgren - Flip (1985)
E Street Band/Grin guitarist Nils Lofgren penned all the tracks for his 1985 Columbia Records debut, Flip, an energetic roots-rock synthpop collection crackling with keyboard wizardry courtesy Tommy Mandel (Bryan Adams, the Clash, Cyndi Lauper, B-52's) and T Lavitz (Dixie Dregs, Jazz Is Dead, Jefferson Starship).

Darlene Love - Unconditional Love (1998)
In 1998, more than 30 years after she vocal-powered the AM radio classics "He's A Rebel," "Da Doo Ron Ron," "Today I Met The Boy I'm Gonna Marry" and others, Darlene Love realized a longterm personal musical dream with the release of Unconditional Love, a transformational gospel album produced and arranged by Edwin Hawkins. The New York Times wrote that Darlene Love's "...thunderbolt voice is as embedded in the history of rock and roll as Eric Clapton's guitar or Bob Dylan's lyrics." Unconditional Love is an essential chapter in the history of that voice.

Dave Mason - Mariposo de Oro (1978)
English singer-songwriter-guitarist-bon-vivant Dave Mason first rose to fame as a founding member of Traffic, who made many of his songs, notably "Feelin' Alright" into enduring hits. By the mid-1970s, Mason hit his stride as a solo artist with his easy-going flow of contemporary soft-rock. Mariposo de Oro finds Dave in prime, especially on album's Top 40 single, a distinctively plaintive read of the Shirelles' "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?"

Eddie Murphy - How Could It Be (1985), So Happy (1989)
Comedian Eddie Murphy first made the Billboard music charts in 1985 with How Could It Be, his first album of straight-up music, "Party All The Time," an anthemic Top 10 single (#2 on the Hot 100) produced by Rick James. Eddie returned with his second album of music in 1989, So Happy, a high-energy R&B/synthpop/hip-hop hybrid produced by Eddie Murphy, Nile Rodgers and Larry Blackmon. A modest crossover success at the time, So Happy reached #75 on the Billboard 200 and #22 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts while generating the #2 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles track, "Put Your Mouth on Me."

Gary Myrick & the Figures - Gary Myrick & the Figures (1980)
Dallas-born guitar-playing songwriter Gary Myrick formed his & the Figures band after moving to Los Angeles from Austin. A catchy combination of roots rock, Texas blues, and new wave streamlining, Myrick & the Figures starting picking up modern rock airplay with tunes like "She Talks In Stereo," which wound up in the 1983 iconic teenflick "Valley Girl."

NKOTB - Face The Music (1994)
After a couple of years out of the spotlight, maturing teen idols New Kids On The Block returned to the studio to create a harder-edged R&B/hip-hop-flavored sound exemplified by the salacious single "Dirty Dawg."

The Primitives - Lovely (1988), Pure (1989)
Combining a love of 60s pop melody and 70s punk energy with pulsing 80s flash and fashion, the Primitives became the biggest thing out of Coventry since Chaucer with their 1988 international hit, "Crash" (which went on to bigger & bigger when a '95 Remix was featured in the movie hit "Dumber & Dumber"). The Primitives original version of "Crash," alongside the UK Top 100 hits "Stop Killing Me," "Thru the Flowers," and "Out of Reach," appear on the group's debut album, Lovely. With Pure, the Primitives' follow-up, they combine a newfound psychedelic aura to their shimmering pop songs.

The Romantics - Rhythm Romance (1985)
Formed on Valentine's Day 1977, the Detroit-based garage band the Romantics combined a love for the mid-sixties British invasion with the high-octane roar of the Motor City contemporaries to help create a still-standing rock & roll sub-set called power pop. The group's oft-overlooked fifth studio album includes the synth-pop hits "Test of Time" and "Mystified."

...AND LEGACY'S NEW PHYSICAL RELEASES:

ELVIS PRESLEY - On Stage: Legacy Edition 2CD (RCA/Legacy)
Our 75th birthday celebration continues with this 2CD set celebrating Elvis' platinum-selling 1970 live album On Stage. Home to the hit single "The Wonder of You,"On Stage has now been upgraded with new liner notes by Presley biographer Ken Sharp and rare photos from the peak of the artist's latter-day career. The original album's 10-song tracklist is now expanded with three rarely performed songs from the same Las Vegas engagement that produced the album: "Don't Cry Daddy", "Kentucky Rain" and "Long Tall Sally." The disc's final addition is a unique glimpse of Elvis working on his repertoire, as he runs through "The Wonder Of You" at an afternoon rehearsal, only hours before the original album recordings were done later that night.

The second disc in the On Stage: Legacy Edition package is a newly-remastered version of Elvis' first live album, In Person (originally released as one half of theFrom Memphis To Vegas - From Vegas to Memphis double album in November 1969). Six bonus tracks from the same August 1969 engagement during which the original album was recorded, are included. Like its partner On Stage, the album In Person has also been certified platinum by the RIAA.

This 2CD set is a potent reminder that Elvis was enjoying one of many career peaks during these engagements in Las Vegas. During the August 1969 shows that yielded In Person, the artist prowled the stage like a panther and shocked audiences with his full-throttle intensity. Conceived similarly to his '68 Comeback Special, these tracks capture Elvis doing what he did best, but now with a full stage band and an hour-long setlist.

By the 1970 gigs that comprise On Stage, the artist now included songs of contemporary writers like John Fogerty ("Proud Mary"), Dion ("Runaway"), Joe South ("Walk a Mile In My Shoes"), Tony Joe White ("Polk Salad Annie") and even The Beatles ("Yesterday"). His choice in covers, alongside his own new material, signalled that Elvis no longer had to rely on his past, and that he was now as much a part of the contempary scene as anybody.

April 13

IGGY & THE STOOGES - Raw Power: Legacy Edition 2CD (Columbia/Legacy)
Raw Power. There is only one Raw Power. Unleashed on an unsupecting public in 1973, Raw Power was a primal scream in the face of the then-prevalent sounds of soft rock and glam. Now, with the Stooges officially set for induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame on March 15th, and with Raw Power-era guitarist James Williamson back in the fold for live dates, the time is right for Raw Power to roar again. This 2CD Legacy Edition will feature the original '73 album mix on disc 1, newly remastered by Sony engineer Mark Wilder for ultimate fidelity. The second disc will feature a previously unreleased 1973 live show in Atlanta recently unearthed in Iggy's private tape stash, plus two additional rarities: "Doojiman" (Raw Power session outtake) and "Head On" (rehearsal performance).

April 27

IGGY & THE STOOGES - Raw Power: Deluxe Edition box set (Columbia/Legacy
Raw Power: Deluxe Edition captures the band at the peak of their destructive genius. Rarely does band, material, time and circumstance come together like it does onRaw Power. This deluxe set is the ultimate tribute to one of the greatest albums of all time and now includes: 15 previously unreleased 1972-1973 bonus tracks over 3 audio discs; a brand-new DVD documentary telling the unlikely story of the fall and rise of Raw Power, featuring new interviews with the Stooges, Johnny Marr, Chrissie Hynde and more, plus never-before-seen 1973 concert footage; a 48-page softcover book chockfull of previously unseen photos by Mick Rock, Robert Matheu and others, essays by Henry Rollins, Kris Needs and Brian J. Bowe, testimonials from Stooges fans like Tom Morello, Lou Reed, Slash, Jim Jarmusch, Joan Jett, Perry Farrell, Cheetah Chrome and more; five 5'x7' photo prints and a 1973 Japanese pic-sleeve 45 single repro of "Raw Power" and "Search And Destroy." AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY at iggyandthestoogesmusic.com.

CAROLE KING - The Essential Carole King 2CD (Ode/Epic/Legacy)
As a singer, Carole King won over millions of fans with her honest portrayals of love and life. As a songwriter, she penned dozens of hits for others, many of which became American pop standards. Now for the first time, these two aspects of a long and celebrated career are combined, presenting the best of Carole King as both singer and songwriter. From her record-breaking and iconic Tapestry, to more recent works with Celine Dion and Babyface, Disc 1 covers the best of Carole King's own performances: the Grammy®-winning songs "It's Too Late" and "You've Got A Friend;" plus collaborations with Celine Dion and Babyface. Disc 2 highlights the best of Carole's best-known and most beloved compositions, as performed by others: "Up On The Roof" (The Drifters); "Natural Woman" (Aretha Franklin); and "Chains" (The Beatles). Together, these songs tell the complete story of an extraordinarily gifted and successful artist, who is still actively performing to this day, more than four decades later.

BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE - This Is Big Audio Dynamite: Legacy Edition 2CD (Columbia/Legacy)
After parting ways with the Clash in 1983, Mick Jones resurfaced the following year with his new group, Big Audio Dynamite. Much like the Clash, B.A.D.'s music was a melting pot of diverse musical flavors, successfully blending dance music, punk rock, reggae, early hiphop, and funk. At the time, their debut album This Is Big Audio Dynamite was rightly heralded as breaking new ground in its prevalent use of "sampling," taking the form of spoken-word inserts and movie FX snippets (most memorably spaghetti westerns!). This Legacy Edition -- overseen by original group member Don Letts -- will feature the remastered original album alongside unreleased tracks, sought-after b-sides, and 12" mixes.

May 4

DOLLY PARTON - Letter To Heaven: Songs of Faith and Inspiration CD (RCA Nashville/Legacy)
From the timeless gospel classic "How Great Thou Art" to "Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man," a personal tribute she wrote for her grandfather, Dolly Parton's devotion to faith and family shine throughout this potent collection of songs. Parton's considerable talent as a songwriter informs such gems as "Master's Hand," "The Golden Streets of Glory," and "God's Coloring Book." There's an understated charm to the no-frills production that places the spotlight on Parton's distinctive vocals. In an ever-changing world, where everyone is bombarded daily with worrisome headlines, these songs of hope and inspiration offer a welcome haven from the storms of life.

May 11

JUDAS PRIEST - British Steel: 30th Anniversary Edition DVD + CD (Columbia/Legacy)
Released in April 1980, British Steel became Judas Priest's first RIAA platinum Top 40 album in the U.S. Now British Steel's 30th anniversary moment officially arrives, commemorating one of the most influential albums in heavy metal, a record that fellow musicians and disciples credit for unleashing metal from its blues origins. British Steel: Legacy Edition features the 2001 remastered, expanded CD of the original nine-song album, including the hits "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight" (plus two bonus tracks). Also included is a DVD which combines a live 16-song concert filmed in 2009 at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena in Hollywood, Florida (the album sequence plus seven more cuts), with a 30-minute "The Making of British Steel" interview with all four original band members.