Blues/Folk Beat: Pete Seeger, Buena Vista Social Club, Indigo Girls …

Reward offered for folk legend's missing banjo .

Pete Seeger has offered a $1,000 reward for the return of his banjo, which disappeared from his car while the 81-year-old folk singer was traveling in Ulster County, N.Y., last week. “I can’t imagine why someone would steal it,” the Associated Press quoted Seeger as saying. The 55-year-old instrument is reportedly made of lignum vitae wood from Central America. …

Ruben Gonzalez, Omara Portuondo, Ibrahim Ferrer and other Cuban musicians recently featured in the “Buena Vista Social Club” movie played their first-ever show together inside Cuba on Friday night (Aug. 11). The Grammy-winning musicians were heartily welcomed by the audience at Havana’s Karl Marx Theatre. …

Indigo Girl Amy Ray is scheduled to speak at the Nov. 4 Rockrgrl conference in Seattle. Ray and Emily Saliers, the other Indigo Girl, also will perform at a fund-raiser for the American Indian College Fund on Nov. 4 in New York City, according to their Web site. …

The just-released series of six 7-inch vinyl singles culled from the hit B.B. King/Eric Clapton album Riding With the King can be ordered from B.B. King direct, at news.bbkingdirect.com. … A long-awaited Stevie Ray Vaughan box set will be released later this year, according to a representative of Sony Records. Although no exact date has been set, the recordings will be in stores before the holidays. …

Willie Nelson‘s new album, Milk Cow Blues, will hit stores Sept. 19, according to Island Records. The blues-oriented album will feature guest appearances by B.B. King, Susan Tedeschi and Jonny Lang. Also appearing on the disc are Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Keb’ Mo’. Included will be reinterpretations of Nelson’s own works and classic blues songs. The album’s release clears the way for Nelson’s next project, a reggae album with Don Was. …

Gretchen Peters, Angela Kaset and Hugh Prestwood will play the Y-Jams benefit for the YMCAs of Nashville on Aug. 19 at the Bluebird Café. You can check the Bluebird Café archives at www.liveonthenet.com to listen to this and other shows….

R&B singer and guitarist Barbara Lynn has completed her debut record on Antone’s Records. The album, titled Hot Night Tonight, is due for release Aug. 22 and will include guest performances by Ivan Neville of the Neville Brothers and vocalist Bernard Fowler. She is also planning to tour in support of the new album in the coming months. … Claire Lynch is one of several artists providing backup vocals on Patty Loveless‘ new album, Strong Heart, due out this month. Also appearing on the album are Matraca Berg and Trisha Yearwood. …

Indigenous will play a freebie Thursday (Aug.17) at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. On Sept. 1 the American Indian blues band will perform an acoustic set in Arcata, Calif., opening for Los Lobos. The band’s U.S. tour ends Oct. 30 in Sioux Falls, S.D. …

Steve Earle, who’s got gigs in London scheduled the two previous nights, has just been added to the lineup for the 15th Farm Aid on Sept. 17 in Bristow, Va. He’ll join Arlo Guthrie, the North Mississippi Allstars, Shannon Curfman, a reunited Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, plus Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp. … Nelson’s collaboration with pop star Beck on “Peach Pickin’ Time in Georgia,” which they performed at Farm Aid 1997, will be included on the organization’s 15th anniversary CD compilation. This is not the first time the two have worked together. Nelson appeared in Beck’s “Jackass” video and the pair’s cover of Floyd Tillman‘s “Drivin’ Nails in My Coffin” appeared on the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese’s “Hi-Lo Country.” The two-CD Farm Aid compilation will be released Sept. 12, and proceeds will go to Farm Aid. For more information, check www.farmaid.org. …

R.L. Burnside will perform Aug. 27 at The Grove on the Ole Miss campus in Oxford, Miss. The blues guitarist will perform free with Blue Mountain and the Kudzu Kings. The program includes wrestling, but Burnside is unlikely to venture into the ring. … Fans of Stacey Earle, Small Potatoes, Trout Fishing in America and David Wilcox who missed their performances at the Kerrville Folk festival can catch footage of the show at www.songs.com. …Eliza Gilkyson, Dana Cooper and Slaid Cleaves will play Aug. 31–Sept 3 at the Kerrville Wine and Music Festival. …

Lil’ Brian and the Zydeco Travelers are reaching new ears thanks to MTV’s “The Real World.” The band’s latest release, Funky Nation, is being used in several of episodes of the series, which is based in New Orleans this season. The band’s music is being featured as an example of music that is both roots-based and hip. (sonicnet.com’s parent company, Viacom, also owns MTV.) …

BeauSoleil will celebrate 25 years of music with a month-long tour early next year. “Cajun 2001, A Space Odyssey,” as the tour is called, will kick off March 1 in Germantown, Tenn. The Cajun band promises to perform songs from its latest release, Cajunization, and popular favorites from its early years. The band also is planning to release a CD to coincide with the tour. The album will have special guests including Sonny Landreth, Darol Anger and Asleep at the Wheel‘s Cindy Cashdollar. …

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. …

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. …

— sonicnet.com staff report