Blues/Folk Beat: Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith, Lucinda Williams …

Singer/songwriters join tour to raise awareness about land mines.

Emmylou Harris and Nanci Griffith have joined the Concerts for a Landmine Free World tour, sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. The tour begins Dec. 2 in Stamford, Conn., and also will feature Steve Earle, Bruce Cockburn, John Prine and Mary Chapin Carpenter. …

Lucinda Williams has recruited Trailer Records’ Bo Ramsey to co-produce her next album, due early next year on Def Jam Records. The album will be the follow-up to her Grammy Award-winning 1998 release, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Recording for the new album will begin Oct. 1 in Minneapolis’ Master Mix Studios. …

And This Is Maxwell Street, a three-CD box set, is due in stores Aug. 29 on Rooster Blues Records. The box set includes two CDs of music and street sounds from 1964′s Maxwell Street in Chicago. Maxwell Street was well known for its open-air markets and as a haven and stomping ground for legendary blues musicians Carey Bell, Mike Bloomfield, Big John Wrencher and Johnny Young. The third CD is an interview with slide guitar master Robert Nighthawk. The music found on the album was gathered over several years and first made available in 1964. It has now been remastered. Steve Balkin, in charge of the Save Maxwell Street coalition, will be speaking on Aug. 23 at Ole Miss to raise awareness about the University of Chicago’s plans to tear down buildings in the area. The coalition was granted a court injunction this week to allow it to put the street and its buildings on the National Historic Preservation list. For more information about the coalition’s work visit www.openair.org/maxwell/preserve.html. …

Veteran country-rocker Joe Ely is keeping a busy tour schedule this summer. After taping a “Mountain Stage Radio Show” with Asleep at the Wheel and Junior Brown on Tuesday (Aug. 8) in Charleston, W.Va., he’ll perform on Aug. 17 with Dwight Yoakam in Los Angeles. Ely then reunites with fellow Flatlanders Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock for a handful of dates, including Sept. 24 at the House of Blues in New Orleans. He also has been tapped, along with the Slaid Cleaves Band and the Tarbox Ramblers, to perform Oct. 27 at Rounder Records’ anniversary show in Somerville, Mass. … Gilmore will also be featured on a House of Blues 24-hour pay-per-view video cybercast at 6 p.m. PDT Aug. 20. For more information visit www.hob.com. …

Bob Dylan will be the focus of A&E’s “Biography” on Sunday (Aug. 13). “Bob Dylan: The American Troubadour” traces the life of the singer/songwriter from his childhood in Hibbing, Minn., to his rise to rock and folk icon. … Experience Hendrix, an organization founded by the family of the late rock ‘n’ roll guitarist Jimi Hendrix, has won a case to evict “cybersquatter” Dennis Hammerton of Minneola, Fla., from the Internet address www.jimihendrix.com. The organization, which strives to preserve the memory of the guitarist’s music, submitted the request to evict Hammerton to the World Intellectual Property Organization last May. The WIPO ruled Monday (Aug. 7) that Hammerton should be evicted from the domain because he had registered it in bad faith. The organization also ruled that since the family owns both common-law and registered trademark rights to the guitarist’s name, the holder of the site must surrender ownership of it to the Hendrix family. Other celebrities to have won against cybersquatters are Julia Roberts and rockers Jethro Tull. …

Alison Krauss and Union Station will join the Boston Pops Orchestra for an “Evening at Pops” session. The Grammy Award-winning artists will perform songs from Krauss’ latest release, Forget About It. The program airs at 7 p.m. on Sunday (Aug. 13). … Veteran folk-rockers Fairport Convention, now in their 32nd year, will kick off a tour Nov. 1 in Berwyn, Ill. Their latest album, The Wood and the Wire, features original member Simon Nicol, plus Chris Leslie, Dave Pegg, Gerry Conway and Rick Sanders. …

Also making the jump across the pond will be British folkie Kate Rusby, who’ll kick off a brief U.S. tour Nov. 9 in New York. The singer will play a handful of East Coast and Midwest dates in support of recent album projects with Equation‘s Kathryn Roberts and the all-female folk band the Poozies. Backing the BBC’s recent choice for Folk Artist of the Year are John McCusker and Ian Cutting. The tour, which includes a date Nov. 12 at the Mountain Stage in Charleston, W.Va., wraps up Nov. 19 in Lexington, Mass. …

Good news for songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Paul Pena: What doctors had diagnosed originally as terminal pancreatic cancer has been determined instead to be pancreatitis. The illness, though still life-threatening, is not fatal. Next month Pena will re-release a 27-year-old album titled New Train, which contains the original version of his “Jet Airliner,” a hit for the Steve Miller Band in the ’70s. …

Van Morrison‘s new album will be a collection of country and rockabilly duets with Linda Gail Lewis, sister of rock ‘n’ roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis. The two debuted some of the material expected to be on the album, rumored to be titled You Win Again, last month when they performed in the UK. … John Lee Hooker, another sometime cohort of Morrison, who was forced to cancel a string of European, Canadian and Eastern U.S. appearances earlier this year for health reasons, continues to announce new bookings at locales closer to his Northern California home. The latest is Sept. 16 at the Doheny Days festival in Dana Point, Calif. He’ll also play a show Aug. 18 at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, Calif. …

The final recording by Texas-border-music legend Doug Sahm, The Return of Wayne Douglas finally becomes available nationwide this week, thanks to a distribution deal with Southwest Wholesale of Houston. Sahm died of heart disease in November 1999. He was 58. The album will be released on Tornado Records. … Natalie MacMaster and Allison Krauss’ duet “Get Me Through December,” from MacMaster’s Rounder Records release In My Hands, has been nominated for Best Vocal/Instrumental Collaboration of the Year by the Canadian Country Music Association. The awards ceremony will take place Sept. 11 in Edmonton, Canada. …

Appalachian Journey Live in Concert, a recording of cellist Yo-Yo Ma, fiddler Mark O’Connor and bassist Edgar Meyer‘s April performance at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, will become available in VHS and DVD formats in August. The program also featured James Taylor joining the trio for a version of Stephen Foster‘s “Hard Times Come Again No More” and Alison Krauss in a rendition of Foster’s “Slumber My Darling.” The tape is scheduled for release Aug. 15 from Sony, but eager fans can catch the concert on their local PBS station at different times throughout the month. Check local listings for details. …

Pinetop Perkins and Barbara Lynn‘s upcoming releases will have a new distributor as Ryko Distribution has made an exclusive deal with the Texas Music Group, parent of Lone Star Records and blues label Antone’s Records. With this deal, 45 Antone’s Records titles will be released through Ryko instead of Sire Records. …

Indigenous, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals and John Trudell are just some of the big names performing at this year’s Hog Farm Pig-Nic in Northern California. The festival will take place during Labor Day weekend at the Black Oaks Ranch, with Woodstock veteran Wavy Gravy serving as master of ceremonies. Also expected to perform are Utah Phillips, Jackson Browne, David Lindley, Richard Thompson, Sy Klopps and Odetta. For ticket information, visit www.pignic.com. …

Germany’s Ruf Records label is planning a tribute to Jimi Hendrix due Sept. 12, the same day MCA Records releases The Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame unveils an exhibit honoring the late guitarist. Blue Haze: The Songs of Jimi Hendrix, which will be distributed in the United States by House of Blues Music Co., features interpretations of the guitar legend’s music by a wide variety of artists. Included among them are Taj Mahal, performing “All Along the Watchtower,” and Alvin Youngblood Hart, doing “Remember.” The 14-track CD also includes appearances by Buddy Miles and Double Trouble, who cover “The Wind Cries Mary” and Michelle Shocked, who does “House Burning Down.” …

Arlo Guthrie and the North Mississippi Allstars will join Shannon Curfman, a reunited Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, plus Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp as performers at the 15th Annual Farm Aid benefit Sept. 17 in Bristow, Va. Cable channel CMT will broadcast the event live in North America. Tickets go on sale Aug. 4 (Friday) through Ticketmaster. To commemorate the benefit’s 15th anniversary, Redline Entertainment will release a two-CD compilation featuring tracks from past Farm Aid concerts. The album will be released Sept. 12, and proceeds will go to Farm Aid. For more information, check www.farmaid.org. …

— sonicnet.com staff report