DiFranco Plans Detour Of Solo Acoustic Dates

Gillian Welch and Greg Brown will join Grammy-nominated musician on road through March.

Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco will hit the road next month for a solo outing, taking along two of her favorite acoustic musicians, Gillian Welch and Greg Brown.

The short theater tour will begin March 7 in Peoria, Ill., and will take the musicians through the Midwest and East, according to Righteous Babe Records. It will wrap up March 20 in New York.

The prolific DiFranco is known as much for her relentless touring as for her patented blend of punk and folk-rock. The 29-year-old singer will be back in the U.S. this month after wrapping up the Japanese and Australian segments of a world tour behind her latest album and third release of 1999, To the Teeth (RealAudio excerpt of title track).

DiFranco is up for the Best Female Rock Vocal Performance Grammy for "Jukebox" (RealAudio excerpt), from her twelfth studio album, Up Up Up Up Up Up (1999). Fellow Workers, her second collaboration with folkie Utah Phillips, is nominated for Best Contemporary Folk Album.

Brown, known for his sandpapery baritone voice, has released 10 albums. His latest, Slant 6 Mind (1997), includes such folk-blues cuts as "Hurt So Nice" and "Whatever It Was" (RealAudio excerpt). Last month, Red House Records released a January 1999 benefit performance featuring Brown, Solid Heart: The In Harmony Benefit Concert.

Welch and partner David Rawlings have been writing and performing together since meeting at the Berklee College of Music in the early '90s. Welch's second album, Hell Among the Yearlings (1998), features such emotional, bluesy folk songs as "My Morphine" (RealAudio excerpt) and "I'm Not Afraid to Die."

"Greg Brown and Gillian Welch came up because I thought it would just be so incredible to be on the road with a couple of my favorite acoustic musicians," DiFranco said in a Righteous Babe press release.

DiFranco released three albums in 1999 — Up Up Up Up Up Up (Jan. 19), Fellow Workers (May 18) and To the Teeth (Nov. 16).

Beginning April 7 in Vancouver, British Columbia, DiFranco will continue the North American leg of her world tour behind To the Teeth.

Ani DiFranco tour dates:

March 7; Peoria, Ill.; Madison Theater

March 8; Madison, Wis.; Oscar Meyer Theater

March 10; Duluth, Minn.; Duluth Entertainment Convention Center

March 11; Grand Forks, N.D.; Chester Fritz Auditorium

March 15; Green Bay, Wis.; Weidner Center

March 16; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Hill Auditorium

March 19; Harrisburg, Pa.; Scottish Rite Auditorium

March 20; New York, N.Y.; Avery Fisher Hall