• This Friday, indie folksters BROWN BIRD finish up a European two-week jaunt with the LOW ANTHEM, a folk trio that opened for RAY LAMONTAGNE for his Merrill shows. Stops include Amsterdam, Brussels, Dresden, Frankfurt, Birmingham, Dublin, and more.
• OKBARI MIDDLE EASTERN ENSEMBLE have a new CD coming out, to be released March 5 at Blue. This will be the group's first as a quartet, adding CARL DIMOW on flutes and MICHAEL GALLANT on violin to founding members AMOS LIBBY and ERIC LAPERNA.
• Pop punk outfit the SOPHOMORE BEAT have been hard at work recording their debut full-length this winter, and now have set March 9 for a release date, with a pre-release show March 7 at the Big Easy. This is a heartening return considering guitarist MIKE PRUE's scary car-wreck last year.
• CHARLIE GAYLORD's CORNMEAL RECORDS has announced plans to release a 20-song retrospective of the work of guitarist/singer/songwriter STEVE JONES. Called Dreamer's Blues (1994-2010), the disc will include four new songs, as well. Jones has a reputation as a great roots lead guitarist from his time in the BONEHEADS and the COMING GRASS, but has an extensive solo repertoire as well.
• Americana/bluegrass trio the TOUGHCATS have a new disc ready — Run to the Mill will be released with a show on their home turf, North Haven Island, this Friday, February 12. With any luck, we'll get a Portland release show in "April/May."
: New England Music News
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