· And you think you've got friends? This Tuesday the Eagle Records label issues the latest from blues giant John Mayall, entitled Along For the Ride and featuring a tremendous guest list of Billy Gibbons, Gary Moore, Otis Rush, Chris Rea, Billy Preston, Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, Steve Cropper, Jonny Lang, Steve Miller, Mick Taylor, and many more.
· The blues-based Red House Records label is poised to release its loving tribute to Minnesota's favorite son, Bob Dylan, next week. The 15-track collection, A Nod to Bob, salutes Dylan's 60th birthday with contributions by Spider John Koerner & Dave Ray, Suzzy & Maggie Roche, Greg Brown, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, John Gorka, Norman Blake, and more. My personal favorites include Cliff Eberhadt's take on "I Want You" and Guy Davis' accordion-infused cover of "A Sweetheat Like You" featuring drummer Leon Helm.
· Yes, the classic vocal prowess of former Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson does have a soaring quality, but would you trust your life to his skills as a pilot? Next month the U.K. arm of ebay.com is offering the opportunity to find out - six pair of 90-minute private flights helmed by the heavy-metal madman, an avid air enthusiast. All proceeds from the auction go straight to charity.
· May 15 is the deadline for the new logo search underway from System of a Down. The winner will receive a new Ibenz guitar autographed by the band. See (http://www.systemofadown.com) for more details.
· Capitol Records' anthology of Paul McCartney's post-Beatles career with Wings hits stores this Tuesday. Entitled Wingspan, the two-CD set is well-timed, with the band's two-hour television special on May 11, and the album can also be found as a limited-edition, import-only four-LP collection in a special sleeve.
· Looking for a mellow mood after a night of grunge-fueled head-banging? This Tuesday the Vitamin label issues its Cocktail Tribute to Nirvana, a 15-track collection of jazzy lounge takes on the most unlikely of tunes. A surreal spin of piano, cello, flute, and trumpet sculpt such classics as "Rape Me," "Pennyroyal Tea," "Heart-Shaped Box" and more by class acts Gringo Floyd, Burton Greene, Cali Jinetero, and more.
The Late Show with David Letterman hosts Stevie Nicks on Thursday and Blues Traveler on Tuesday; The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes the return of The Go-Go's on Monday; and Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher gets deep with Mos Def on Friday overnight.
New Releases Coming Tuesday, May 8:
... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change.
Natacha Atlas - Ayeshteni (Beggars Banquet) continuing her mesmerizing mix of Middle Eastern dance grooves and featuring an English-language cover of Screaming Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell On You"
The Black Crowes - Lions (V2)
Blues Traveler - Bridge (A&M)
Tim Buckley - The Dream Belongs to Me (Manifesto) rarities and unreleased songs from 1968 to 1973
David Byrne - Look into the Eyeball (Virgin) new solo album from the Talking Heads founder
Nikka Costa - Everybody Got Their Something (Virgin)
Crossbreed - Synthetic Division (Artemis) new industrial metal
Deviates - Time Is the Distance (Epitaph)
Fred Eaglesmith & The Flying Squirrels - Ralph's Last Show (Signature Sounds) two-CD set with live and studio tracks
Heather Eatman - Real (Eminent) third album from this New York-based singer-songwriter featuring a cover of Willie Dixon's "Spoonful"
Fatboy Slim - "Star 69" (Astralwerks) double 12-inch or CD 5-inch single
Rosie Flores - Speed of Sound (Eminent) rockabilly roots country featuring covers of material by Billie Holiday, Buck Owens, Robbie Fulks, and Marshall Crenshaw
Foetus - Flow (Thirsty Ear) new from J.G. Thirlwell
Gorillaz - Gorillaz (Capitol) the world's first virtual/cartoon band featuring Damon Albarn of Blur, Del tha Funky Homosapian, Da the Automater, and Cibo Mato
Integrity - Closure (Victory) new from the mind of Dwid
Janis Joplin - Love, Janis (Columbia Legacy) 12-track collection released in conjunction with the off-Broadway play that opened in New York last month
Mark Lanegan - Field Songs (SubPop) new haunting originals with Ben Shepherd of Soundgarden and Mike Johnson of Dinosaur Jr.
Jack Logan - Monkey Paw (Backburner) third album from this original roots rocker
Millencolin - No Cigar (Epitaph) eight-song EP with two live tracks
Modereko - Modereko (Blue Thumb) described as Frank Zappa meets James Brown meets Phish
Moulin Rouge - original motion picture soundtrack (Interscope) featuring new music and interesting covers from Beck, Fatboy Slim, Rufus Wainwright, and U2's Bono
Mushroomhead - XX (Filthy Hands) outrageous hard rock from Cleveland
Placebo - Black Market Music (Virgin) touring the USA now
George Sarah - Opus Eleven (Beautiful Is as Beautiful Does) new from this hot L.A.-based electronic producer/composer
Soul Farm - Scream of the Crop (Desert Rock) tasty world-beat folk rock featuring guest vocals by Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction on "Holy Brother"
Staind - Break the Cycle (Elektra)
Sum 41 - All Killer No Filler (Island) enhanced CD featuring the video for "Fat Lip"
To Rococo Rot - Music Is a Hungry Ghost (Mute)
Duke Tumatoe - Pompous & Overrated (J-Bird) crazed originals and cool covers from this doctor of the house-party blues, recorded live last fall
various artists - A Nod to Bob (Red House) with Norman Blake, John Gorka, Spider John Koerner & Dave Ray, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott offering their takes on their favorite songs by Bob Dylan
Waterdown - Never Kill the Boy on the First Date (Victory) intense German hardcore