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Summer Notes 

Tomato Records has reissued the Professor Longhair live album, Rum and Coke.

Who says the music scene slows down during summer in New Orleans? Here's a rundown of the latest music news:

Kermit Ruffins has been in the studio recording his follow-up to 2001's 1533 St. Philip St. album. ... Tomato Records has just reissued two of Professor Longhair's live albums, Rum and Coke and Big Chief. The performances on both CDs are culled from a pair of late-70s shows at Tipitina's, with a band that includes Alfred "Uganda" Roberts on percussion and Tony Dagradi on saxophone. Tomato is also reissuing a pair of superb singer/songwriter and New Orleans native Chris Smither's early '70s albums, I'm a Stranger Too! and Don't It Drag On. ...

Anders Osborne has completed recording a collaboration album with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux of the Golden Eagles, titled Bury the Hatchet. The album is set for a September release on Shanachie Records, and will be the first salvo in a busy stretch for Osborne and Boudreaux; Osborne heads back into the studio shortly to record his next solo album, tentatively slated for a Jazz Fest 2003 release, while Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles are recording their debut CD for Shanachie, featuring the current band lineup led by guitarist Brian Stoltz. ...

In other collaboration news, Houma bluesman Tab Benoit has teamed up with fellow guitarist Jimmy Thackery and Stevie Ray Vaughan's former rhythm section, Double Trouble, for the new CD titled Whiskey Town, on Telarc Records. Whiskey Town also features harp work from blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite. ... Singer, guitarist, and noted Cajun folklorist Ann Savoy is prominently featured on the soundtrack to The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, the most recent project helmed by O Brother Where Art Thou? producer T-Bone Burnett. Savoy recorded three songs for the project, which also features classic tracks from Jimmy Reed and Mahalia Jackson, and brand-new songs by Bob Dylan ("Waiting for You," a tossed-off waltz), Lauryn Hill and Tony Bennett. Unfortunately, the movie's been widely panned and is already headed out of theaters, so it doesn't look like O Brother lightning will strike twice for the Sisterhood soundtrack. ...

The debut CD from Vida Blue, the trio featuring Funky Meters drummer Russell Batiste, Phish keyboardist Page McConnell, and Allman Brothers bassist Oteil Burbridge, is currently in stores. ... Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis' new CD, All Rise, is due out on Aug. 27. All Rise is a 12-part suite featuring elements of blues, spirituals and classical music, and also features a large vocal chorus. Marsalis first premiered the piece in 1999. ...

The annual Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp's immediate future was unknown during the transition period of Mayor Ray Nagin's new administration. Thankfully, the financially strapped childrens' program is proceeding as planned, as camp opened last Monday. Nagin is keeping his pledge to raise private funds to ensure the camp's viability for this year's session, as Beth James, Nagin's new Director of Economic Development for the City of New Orleans, and City Council members Oliver Thomas and Jackie Clarkson have secured $37,500 to date from private donors. Donors include Festival Production's Quint Davis, Essence Communications, the New Orleans Brass hockey team, and Alden McDonald of Liberty Bank.

The postponed April Diana Krall show at the Saenger Theater has been rescheduled for Sunday, Nov. 24, at the Saenger. ... Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's love of country music and Texas music traditions was evident when he stopped by to hear part of the Flatlanders' show last week at House of Blues ... Considering that Bruce Springsteen's New Orleans show in 2000 as part of his reunion tour with the E Street Band didn't sell out, it's not surprising that there's no New Orleans date currently scheduled for Springsteen's upcoming fall tour to promote his new CD, The Rising. However, another rock 'n' roll icon, Paul McCartney, is scheduled to play his first New Orleans show since his Superdome appearance in 1993. McCartney's current tour hits the New Orleans Arena on Oct. 12. The on-sale date for McCartney tickets hasn't been announced yet, but if you plan on going, start saving now: the average ticket price is $130. ...

OffBeat magazine is currently accepting listings for its 2002-2003 edition of the Louisiana Music Directory (LMD). The LMD is an invaluable resource, featuring comprehensive listings of bands, media, festivals, recording studios and more. Listings are free, and the deadline is Aug. 31. To receive a listings form, call OffBeat at 944-4300, or email The 2002-2003 LMD is scheduled for publication in mid-October.

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