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Williams puts out some stars and stripes



Lucinda Williams has completed work for her debut album on American Recordings, with Steve Earle and Ray Kennedy producing. It’s the second album Williams has finished for the label; the earlier effort, produced by Williams’ longtime guitarist Gurf Morlix, was set aside because of reaction from label executives. The singer, who was once close to leaving American because of the dispute over the original recordings, says she’s very happy with the results of her collaboration with Earle and Kennedy. All parties involved admit, however, that there were several tense days in the studio as Williams and Earle argued over arrangements and musical direction.

Some of the studio difficulties involved Morlix, who defected midway through the recording, leaving Williams’ band after more than a decade as her primary musical partner. For now, Morlix is pursuing other ventures and is not planning to rejoin Williams for an upcoming tour. Duane Jarvis, who spent time in Williams’ band in the past, will be her guitarist on some August and September concert dates. Williams also recently joined Earle in concert for several West Coast shows. They performed their duet, “You’re Still Standing There,” and other songs together.

Between 1964 and 1967, the quintet of T.C. Lee, Offe Reese, and Andrew, Robert, and Curtis Kelly—otherwise known as The Kelly Brothers—recorded a series of first-rate soul singles with producer Bob Holmes for the Nashville-based R&B label Sims Records. Owing more to black gospel than to the velvety soul coming out of Detroit, the Kelly Brothers’ most exciting singles embellish driving, call-and-response choruses with Holmes’ elegant horn and guitar arrangements. Such gems as “You’re That Great Big Feelin’ ” and “Make Me Glad” can be found on the new AVI/Excello compilation Sanctified Southern Soul, which gathers 28 Kelly Brothers tracks onto one 75-minute CD. Look for the disc at local record shops, or call AVI’s “Atomic Beat” mail-order catalog at (310) 556-1144.

David Olney leads a first-rate lineup of songwriting talent at the fourth annual “Songs for David” benefit concert this Friday at 9 p.m. at Douglas Corner. Joining Olney will be Barbara Cloyd, Jon Ims, Casey Kelly, Angel Pontier, and Allen Shamblin, a group whose songs have been recorded by Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, John Berry, and more. Proceeds from the concert—which is named for a young country-music fan in a nursing home, who died shortly before the first event—will benefit the Social Action Group on Aging (SAGA), a nonprofit organization devoted to improving conditions for nursing-home residents and the frail elderly. Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door.

Elliptical dispatches: On the 930th anniversary of the Norman Conquest, Nashville’s The Bum Steers are wreaking similar havoc overseas. Their backhanded tribute to Music City songwriting, “NatKingColePorterWagonerSortaThing,” entered the UK Country Dance Chart’s Top 10 in its first week of release, and its video “Why, Nona?” has been added on CMT Europe. The band celebrated a couple of weeks ago with an appearance on the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree....

Compass Records impresario and recording artist Alison Brown will be featured on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood on Aug. 11. Compass, Brown, and her Alison Brown Quartet are the subject of a piece on artist-run labels, for which Osgood visited Compass’ Nashville office last month. In succession to Perfect World, the just-released debut LP by West Coast folk-bluegrass guitarist Judith Edelman, Compass has two notable upcoming releases scheduled for the fall: the new album by Clive Gregson, I Love This Town, due Aug. 20; and the new album by Atlanta-based singer-songwriter Pierce Pettis, Making Light of It, due Oct. 1....

Zack Taylor, who has been performing six nights a week at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge for the last six years, learned of his endorsement from the PBC Guitar Co. in a surprise celebration July 24 at the legendary club. Taylor arrived at Tootsie’s expecting to take his solo spot on the small stage at the front of the club. Instead, he found his band, which usually performs on weekends, set up on the back-room stage. Singer Joe Sun then introduced the special evening, which also crowned the release of Taylor’s new album, the self-released On the Boulevard....

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