...you know, "We're moving on up, etc.") from its compact disc Dancin' On the Moon, call INFOLINE at 442-4444 and press 8105. SEND DISCS If you are in a local band and have a compact disc you would like to have featured in Applause...
A boat carrying Handel, Scarlatti and several other composers to Italy stops in Cuba to pick up a slave. The journey to Italy is long and difficult, but on the way the slave and the composers find a moment of magic, breaking into an all-out, cross-cultural jam session. That imaginative scene from Concierto Barroco, a short novel by Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier, is the inspiration for a real-life composition, written by Roberto Sierra for guitarist Manuel Barrueco.
Four artists with singles in Billboard's Top 100 Hot R&B Singles chart will appear at Mayfest this Saturday at May Park. The music is the highlight of a big, free outdoor festival that in past years has crammed the park with spectators. They come to hear the music, and also to grill food, visit the vendors' booths and carnival games, and hang out. More than 3,000 people attended last year's event. Performances will begin at noon and go until about 6 p.m., but people tend to stick around the park after the music has stopped.
Ric Ocasek, Troublizing, Columbia Records. **1/2 If you got the Cars' Ric Ocasek and Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan together for an Addams Family movie, that would make sense. Mr. Ocasek could play tall, gaunt butler Lurch and Mr. Corgan could step in as the bald-headed Fester. As a musical pairing, they are a less-obvious couple, so it's hard to see what drew Mr. Corgan, the man who howled, "Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage," to work on an album from deadpan pop singer Mr. Ocasek.
Clay Walker is the guy with the fistful of platinum albums. Lee Ann Womack is the rookie in search of her first. But when Ms. Womack opens for Mr. Walker at Fort Gordon tonight, she's the one more likely to conjure up images of the old days. Ms. Womack has been hailed as a traditionalist in a time when many top country artists, including Mr. Walker, sound more like pop stars. How do the two go together? "Maybe you get a little bit of everything," Ms. Womack said. "With our group you get more of the shuffles-and-swing kind of thing."
The Oxford American Southern Sampler ***1/2 The best source of quality reading on the South and Southerners, The Oxford American has given a musical voice to the region with its current issue. Each article is a pleasant read, as always. It's enjoyment is enhanced by an accompanying CD that explores the incredible diversity of music made by Southerners.
Uncle Mingo, Dancin' on the Moon, Autonomous Records ** Uncle Mingo is a good band, but not quite good enough to pull off an album like this. Its latest release is a mix of studio tracks and live recordings, including one from a performance at the Red Lion Pub in Augusta. It's not without its highlights, but mostly it's a mess. It sounds like one of those albums a record company puts out after a band has made it big, and they've got these random outtakes they throw together to cash in on new-found popularity. Uncle Mingo isn't there yet.