Folk/Blues Beat: Moe., Ani DiFranco, XIT, Walela, John Mayall …

Beloved Louisiana radio show is spiked; XIT plans farewell show.

Righteous babe Ani DiFranco is confirmed to play at the first “moe.down,” scheduled for Labor Day weekend in New York’s Adirondack mountains. The fest will take place at the Snow Ridge Ski Area in Turin. DiFranco will play Friday, Sept. 1. Also confirmed for that day is Syracuse, N.Y., singer/songwriter Martin Sexton and Ontario, Canada’s Great Big Sea. …

On Saturday, May 20 on the Shakopee Mdewakanton Dakota Sioux Reservation in Prior Lake, Minn., Bill Miller and Walela, among others, will join in the farewell concert by XIT, the Albuquerque, N.M., band whose 1972 Plight of the Redman documented the changes in Native American life since Columbus’ arrival. …

Performers as varied as John Mayall and the Blues Breakers, Dr. John, Toots and the Maytals and former Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir‘s band Ratdog are on the bill for the second Mid-Atlantic Music and Arts Festival (MAMA Fest) June 16–17 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds outside Baltimore. Promoters say the eclectic lineup is modeled on the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. For info, check out the fest’s Web site (www.mamafest.com). …

“Swamp & Roll,” a quirky, influential radio show hosted by Todd Ortego and Joe Burge on KJJB FM in Eunice, La., and cybercast to listeners around the world, has been discontinued by the station’s new owners. Also canceled was the popular “Front Porch Zydeco Show.” Listeners are protesting the station’s actions, and at a zydeco show north of Eunice this past weekend, a local band passed out fliers condemning the move and encouraging fans to express their feelings with station management. KJJB reportedly plans to eliminate all local music. …

When he died in 1973, country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons left behind a journal containing many unfinished songs. After Parsons’ widow allowed access to the journal to several Nashville musicians, they finished some of the songs and recorded them for Shell Point Records. The album, The Gram Parsons Songbook, due in June, includes 14 tracks, with lead vocals on “Blessing for Being” by Jim Lauderdale. Other singers on the album are Carl Jackson, Mike Ward, the Woodys, Larry Cordle, Eddie Dunbar, Eddie Cunningham and Lona Heins. More information can be had at www.groovetone.com/indexgram.html. …

Eric Clapton‘s album of duets with blues legend B.B. King, Ridin’ With The King, is set for a June 12 release on Reprise. … James Taylor‘s brother Livingston, who’s performed and recorded in his own right, has just published a book based on his classes at Boston’s Berklee School of Music, called “Live Performance,” on Pocket Books. …

The Vigilantes of Love‘s “Nothing Like A Train” will be featured on the May 17 episode of “Felicity.” The song is from the band’s upcoming album, Audible Sigh. The Athens, Ga., band’s song reportedly is heard during the first half of the show, during a bar scene. Audible Sigh, the Buddy Miller-produced first Compass release for COLOR="#003163">Bill Mallonee and Vigilantes of Love, is due June 13. …

Jonny Lang and Susan Tedeschi will headline A Festival of the Heart and Soul, a benefit for Camp Heartland, a summer recreational facility for children affected by HIV/AIDS. The festival, scheduled for May 20–21 in Minneapolis, also will feature performances by Gov’t Mule, Indigenous and Cowboy Mouth. …

In San Francisco, the Clarksdale Blues Revue, Big Jack Johnson and Sam Carr have just been announced as the bill for the traditional free waterfront concert that precedes the annual San Francisco Blues Festival. The festival, scheduled for Sept. 23–24, will feature Johnny Otis, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Keb’ Mo’, Koko Taylor, Elvin Bishop and Joe Louis Walker, among others. For more information check out www.sfblues.com. …

Super Tejanas are considering concert dates in Chicago; San Antonio, Texas; and El Paso, Texas; for this fall. The seven-member Latino Tejano group — which includes folk artist Tish Hinojosa and rockabilly queen Rosie Flores — hopes to reunite after a performance at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas. … Guitarist Bill Cooley and country singer Kathy Mattea are working together on a track for an upcoming Windham Hill compilation, Sounds of Wood and Steel Vol. 3.

Guitar prodigy Kenny Wayne Shepherd, 22, reportedly is slated to record the theme for an upcoming animated “Batman” movie next week in Los Angeles. …

Analogue Production Originals (APO) and the Blue Heaven Recording Studio, producers of audiophile-quality jazz and blues reissues and, more recently, records by the likes of Robert Johnson cohort Honeyboy Edwards will be highlighted in a segment of CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes II” on May 30. The label and recording studio is housed in an old Gothic church in Salina, Kan. House founder Chad Kassem originally bought the church to use as a storage facility for his record company’s mail-order business, but found its acoustics made it ideal for recording. The label originally specialized in audiophile-quality LPs and CDs by Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and Otis Spann. …

Folkie Utah Phillips, Native American artist John Trudell and punk rocker/spoken wordsmith Jello Biafra are taking on the FBI as they and other performers commemorate the 10th anniversary of the unsolved car bombing of Earth First! activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney. “Targets of COINTELPRO,” on May 19 at Ashkenaz in Berkeley, Calif., will be a memorial for late environmental activist Bari. Then, on May 24, is “Fiddle Down the FBI,” a protest on the steps of FBI headquarters in San Francisco. Phillips, fiddlers and puppeteers are on the bill for that one. The civil-rights suit Bari and Cherney filed in 1991 against the FBI and the Oakland (Calif.) Police Department is expected to go to trial early next year. …

Laurie Lewis and Her Bluegrass Pals, The Bellamy Brothers, JD Crowe & the New South and Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver are scheduled for the Huck Finn Festival, from June 16–18 in Victorville, Calif. The festival also will offer dance workshops, two wild West shows, and “virtual band seminars.” For more information check out www.huckfinn.com. …

Buddy Guy, Native American rockers Indigenous Deborah Coleman and Savoy Brown are among the performers scheduled for this weekend’s Fourth Annual Fender Catalina Island Blues Festival, which will be available on the Web for the first time. The festival will honor blues great Muddy Waters and include a set by his son, Big Bil Morganfield, and his guitarist, Bob Margolin. If you can’t make it to the Southern California coast to catch the performances in person, you can catch some of them at www.liveonthenet.com. …

The Del McCoury Band, the Drifters and Shenanigans are scheduled to play at the Santa Fe Trails Bluegrass Festival in Bonner Springs, Kan., from May 19–21. … Over in New Holland, Pa., Trout Fishing in America, Patty Larkin and Uncalled For will perform and host workshops at the 14th annual Spring Gulch Festival. (For more, see www.springgulch.com/folk). … Also that weekend, up in Anchorage, Alaska, there’s the Fifth Annual Alaska Irish Music Festival, with Cherish the Ladies, Karan Casey and Laurence Nugent. For more, see www.akirishmusic.com. …

Mark and Ann Savoy, Hot House Zydeco and Chanka Chank are scheduled for the eighth annual Springtime Cajun Dance festival, May 26–28 in Standfordville, N.Y. For information, contact the County Fare Antique & Arts Center (914) 724-5270. …

For the first time in its 21-year history, the W.C. Handy Blues Awards will be broadcast on both television and the Web. The Public Broadcasting Service will air highlights of the late-May events in a 90-minute show later in the year, but the House of Blues Web site (HOB.com) will offer a cybercast live from Memphis on May 25 at 7:30 p.m. CDT. Performers and nominees include Wilson Pickett, Gov’t Mule and Anson Funderburgh. New Orleans’ Rufus Thomas will host the ceremonies. For more information on performers and nominees check out the Handy Awards Web site (www.handyawards.com). …

The Del McCoury Band, the Lonesome River Band and Riders in the Sky are among the more than 20 artists scheduled to perform at the Gettysburg Spring Bluegrass Festival at Granite Hill Campground in Gettysburg, Pa., May 18–21. … Columbia/Legacy plans to release another set of American Milestones reissues on July 4 that will include Johnny Cash‘s live concert album from San Quentin, Willie Nelson‘s Red Headed Stranger and George JonesI Am What I Am.

A comprehensive Tom Paxton songbook to be published by Cherry Lane will include the first song the legendary folk songwriter ever wrote. … WXRV-FM (92.5) in Boston is planning to release a CD benefiting RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) titled WXRV Presents — Live From the River Music Hall that includes tracks from Ani DiFranco, Suzanne Vega, the Cowboy Junkies and Peter Mulvey. …

HighTone recording artist Deke Dickerson (Deke and Dave, Untamed Youth) has compiled a collection of 45s and EPs from his label, Ecco-Fonic Records. This is Ecco-Fonic! contains previously unreleased tracks, too. It can be ordered from Dickerson at P.O. Box 304, Hollywood, CA 90078, or purchased at one of his shows. … Nancy Wilson and Jerry “The Ice Man” Butler will highlight a concert for the N’DIGO Foundation on June 17 at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. …

Acoustic bluesman Kelly Joe Phelps and W.C. Handy Award winner Rory Block plan to record tracks together this fall for Block’s next record. … Songwriter Jim Lauderdale and long-ago band cohort Buddy Miller, now guitarist for Emmylou Harris and producer of Jimmie Dale Gilmore‘s latest, One Endless Night, are considering recording a duet album in the fall. … Laurie Lewis is wrapping up production chores on a disc of the late Charles Sawtelle‘s music, to be released on the Acoustic Disc label. Peter Rowan‘s among the guest artists. …

Banjo legend Tony Trischka and the North Carolina bluegrass fusion band Acoustic Syndicate are discussing playing some shows together. … Tish Hinojosa has plans for a summer of touring in support of her new album, Sign of Truth, due May 23 on Rounder. It’s her first release since the critically acclaimed Dreaming from the Labyrinth (Warner Bros.) was issued four years ago. Hinojosa showcased the tile tune and several others from the new disc at MerleFest and said she’s following a more personal turn in the lyrics for the songs on this album. The cover art for Hinojosa’s
new disc was done by fellow Austin, Texas, singer/songwriter Sara Hickman. …

Willie Nelson has an album of blues songs due in August, reportedly with cuts from B.B. King and Susan Tedeschi, among others. … Peter Rowan, meanwhile, has been recording a reggae-flavored album in the Caribbean. No word if Panama Red will make an appearance. …

The California Bluegrass Association announced the lineup for its 25th Annual Father’s Day Weekend Festival, which will be held in Grass Valley, Calif., from June 15–18. Appearing will be J.D. Crowe & the New South, IIIrd Tyme Out, Lost Highway, the Reno Brothers, Lost and Found and others. There’ll be workshops, camping and jam sessions. For more information, check the association’s Web site (www.californiabluegrass.org). …

— sonicnet.com staff report