Blues/Folk Beat: Pete Seeger, Willie Nelson, Shawn Colvin

Seeger continues campaign for cleaner water; Nelson schedules Farm Aid 2000; Colvin cuts track with Bela Fleck.

Pete Seeger will revisit the site of one of his clearest victories at the Liberty State Park Heritage and Music Festival in Jersey City, N.J., on July 1–2. “For Ships to Save the Waters Environmental Conference/Festival 2000″ will provide a forum for the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Inc., which Seeger co-founded in 1966 with the concept that by learning to care for “one boat and one river,” the public could learn to care for all waterways. The weekend’s events will include discussions of environmental issues, music, exhibitions and other activities including an open house on several traditional sailing ships. …

Willie Nelson‘s Farm Aid 2000 will be held Sept. 16 at the Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, Va. A lineup has not yet been set. Last year’s Farm Aid, also held at the Nissan Pavilion, on Sept. 12, featured Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews Band, Barenaked Ladies, Deana Carter, Trisha Yearwood, Sawyer Brown, Susan Tedeschi, Steve Earle, the Supersuckers, Larry Gatlin, Keb’ Mo’, Mandy Barnett and Bare Jr. The event sold 23,000 tickets to raise funds for farmers in need. Nelson, Mellencamp and Young founded Farm Aid in 1985 as a clearinghouse, information center and rallying point to aid struggling family farmers. Nelson also is slated to receive the first-ever Artistic Achievement Award from the University of Texas Performing Arts Center at his May 27 show at the Bass Concert Hall. …

Shawn Colvin recently recorded “A Moment So Close” with Bela Fleck for inclusion on his upcoming album, which is set for an August release. Colvin’s next LP is tentatively set for December, on Columbia. …

“Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?,” the Joel and Ethan Coen film due in October starring George Clooney, Holly Hunter and John Goodman, will feature Gillian Welch on its soundtrack and in a cameo role. The singer/songwriter plays a record buyer — doubtless a role she’s rehearsed well — and is accompanied by Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss on the film’s soundtrack. Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley sings an a cappella version of “Oh Death.” …

Tish Hinojosa will be a featured guest on a www.TWEC.com live chat on May 23 at 9 p.m. EDT; Ronnie McCoury follows her to the cybermic on May 24. … Also, in cyberspace, three six-hour segments of the 29th Kerrville Folk Festival will be made available in audio-only webcasts on May 27, June 3 and June 11 at 6 p.m. CDT, at www.songs.com. Featured artists on the 27th include Suzanne Buirgy, Bob Franke, Eliza Gilkyson, Tom Russell, Willis Alan Ramsey, the Wyrd Sisters and Jimmy LaFave. On the June 3rd show: Frank Christian, Small Potatoes, L.J. Booth, Still on the Hill, Mickey Newbury, Hart Rouge and Trout Fishing in America. On June 11th: Allen Damron, Cindy Greene, Tom Prasada-Rao, Modern Man, Stacy Earle and David Wilcox. …

Riding With the King, a collaborative album between blues legend B.B. King and rock legend Eric Clapton, is due June 13 from Warner Bros. Records. John Hiatt penned the title track, and Jimmie Vaughan worked on the disc as well. … During the run-up to the album’s release, King will appear on the “Late Night With David Letterman” on Thursday (May 25), and on the “Paula Zahn” show Wednesday (May 24). …

Longtime Howlin’ Wolf sideman Hubert Sumlin continues wrapping up the all-star Hubert Plays Muddy sessions, with George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers, the latest rockers to join the Chicago blues guitar great. They’re preceded by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, Clapton and members of Savoy Brown. Plans are also afoot for Susan Tedeschi to lay down some tracks, but she’s currently preoccupied on tour with the Allman Brothers Band. …

Folkie Victoria Williams is oddly paired with legendary punk godfather Lou Reed as they cross the country on a string of dates in June. They’ll play Seattle’s Benaroya Concert Hall on June 2, work their way south to Universal City, Calif., via Portland, Ore., and Berkeley, Calif., before heading east through Salt Lake City, Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago and Detroit and winding up on the East Coast with shows in Baltimore, New York and Glenside, Pa., before concluding in Boston on June 23. …

Doug Kershaw, Geno Delafose, Boozoo Chavis and Lil’ Band of Gold — the latter of whom created quite the buzz at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival — and others will bring a taste of Louisiana to California’s Simi Valley the weekend of May 27–28 at the 11th Annual Simi Valley Cajun Creole Festival. Check it out at: http://simi2000.com/rotary/cajun.html. …

Loudon Wainwright III, who has a role in the recently released film “28 Days,” starring Sandra Bullock, in which he performed two songs in the role of a patient at a rehab center, has two more songs on the film’s soundtrack. More information about the film and a video of Wainwright playing “White Winos” are available at http://www.spe.sony.com/movies/28days/. …

On Tuesday nights this summer, the historic Ryman Auditorium will ring with the sounds of banjos and bass as Bluegrass at the Ryman returns for another season. “Bluegrass music really is country music, more than some of what’s out there today,” says Grammy nominee Claire Lynch, who has participated in the series several times. Out of the Woodwork, featuring bluegrass notables Tony and Larry Rice and folkies Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen will be the opening performers on June 20. The eight-part series also will feature Doc Watson, Del McCoury and Lynn Morris and will close with a concert featuring Rhonda Vincent, Ralph Stanley and Jim Lauderdale. Jim and Jessie, the Osborne Brothers, Peter Rowan and Vassar Clements are also scheduled to make appearances. For more information visit www.ryman.com or call (615) 889-3060. …

Chicago blues legend Barkin’ Bill Smith died April 24 from pancreatic cancer. Failing health had kept him from performing for several years, but he did work on Dave Specter‘s Bluebird Blues (Delmark Records). His style and voice reflected his influences, Percy Mayfield, Joe Williams and Big Joe Turner. Entertaining audiences for more than 50 years, Smith was remembered on May 1 in Chicago. … In another sad note, R&B guitarist Clarence Hollimon died of heart failure, also on Easter weekend. He was well-known for his recordings with his wife, singer Carol Fran, and for his guitar lines on Bobby “Blue” Bland‘s Duke/Peacock recordings of the ’50s and ’60s. Hollimon, who made a name for himself by blending Texas and Louisiana rhythms, also recorded with O.V. Wright, Junior Parker and Al Hinton and worked as well with Wilie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. His last recording was It’s About Time (JSP Records), which was recorded in January. He was 62. …

If you are looking for Swamp Pop music on the Web, look no further than Swamppop.com, where you can find news and information about the latest events and artists in English Cajun blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll. … Louisiana Hall of Famers the Southern Drifters and Dale and Grace will perform at the second annual Swamp Pop Music Festival in Port Barre, La., on May 25–27.

— sonicnet.com staff report