'97 Lilith Fair Captured On CD

Among 25 performances selected for album are those by Victoria Williams, Jewel and Shawn Colvin.

Lilith Fair: A Celebration of Women in Music, a two-disc compilation album of live festival performances -- from the likes of Victoria Williams, Jewel, Shawn Colvin and, of course, the all-women tour's founder, pop-folk songstress Sarah McLachlan -- is due in stores on April 28.

The CD features 25 performances recorded live at the popular touring festival last summer. After four months of song selection, mixing and mastering, the album was completed on March 24, said Terry McBride, co-founder of the festival and producer of the CD.

"[Sarah and I] wanted a balance of mainstage artists to blend with new, emerging and eclectic artists," McBride said in regard to choosing the 25 artists represented on the album. He added that the task of finding the perfect live performance was an arduous one, as individual artists were allowed to contribute to the selection process.

For instance, eight different versions of the old, Irish folk tune "Water is Wide" were reviewed by the Indigo Girls before everyone settled on a favorite take of the number featuring Jewel and Sarah McLachlan singing along, McBride said. Other tracks chosen for the record are Dar Williams' "What Do You Hear In These Sounds," Shawn Colvin's "Trouble," Tracy Bonham's "The One," Wild Colonials' "Charm," Lisa Loeb's "Falling In Love" and Victoria Williams' "Periwinkle Sky."

After all the tracks were selected, McLachlan herself sat down for two straight weeks to pick the order of the songs for the album. "It was sequenced like an artist would sequence their own album," McBride said.

Keeping with Lilith Fair tradition, a portion of the profits from the album will be divided up between the charitable organizations R.A.I.N.N. (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) and Lifebeat. But McBride explained that the point of the album isn't profit but "getting this music out there."

Perhaps its most important contribution, McBride said, is in allowing Lilith fans to experience the event in new ways. Because of the rotating lineup, many attendees didn't see all of the artists perform, he added, noting that this album is a chance to hear, live, what many of the performers were like. It also serves as a partial demonstration of what the Lilith experience was for those who didn't get to go at all, McBride added.

The tour is planning a second go-around this summer, featuring such artists as funk-rockers Luscious Jackson and soul artist Erykah Badu, as well as return performances by the Indigo Girls and McLachlan.

Lilith Fair: A Celebration of Women in Music should also satisfy many of the fans who missed out on purchasing the festival's official, limited-edition compilation album that sold at last summer's tour stops. There were only about 90 CDs sold per show, selling out within two hours of the doors opening. A collectors' item, it was never made available in stores.

Arista Records, which is releasing the two-disc compilation, confirmed that the album will include: Suzanne Vega ("Rock in my Pocket"), Abra Moore ("four-leaf clover"), Paula Cole ("Mississippi"), Lhasa ("El Payande"), Sarah McLachlan ("Building a Mystery"), Indigo Girls ("Scooter Boys"), Autour De Lucie ("Sur Tes Pas"), the Cardigans ("Been-It"), September 67 ("The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"), Dar Williams ("What Do You Hear In These Sounds"), Tara McLean ("Jordan"), Joan Osborne ("Ladder"), Emmylou Harris ("Going Back To Harlem"), Meredith Brooks ("Wash My Hands"), Patty Griffin ("Cain"), Wild Strawberries ("I Don't Want To Think About It"), Susanna Hoffs ("Eternal Flame"), Shawn Colvin ("Trouble"), Young Chen Lamo ("Lama Dorje Chang"), Tracy Bonham ("The One"), Wild Colonials ("Charm"), Lisa Loeb ("Falling In Love"), Victoria Williams ("Periwinkle Sky"), Dana Manning ("I Want") and Jewel ("Water is Wide," with McLachlan and the Indigo Girls).