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Gaff Track

New record label prepares for dual debut

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* A new record label that's based nearby will be making its debut next month. On May 21, Gaff Music, based just up the road in Lincolnton, will release both Apocalypso Now by Walter Egan and Pasajes by Charlotte's own noted percussionist Jim Brock. Egan is probably best known for penning the hit "Magnet and Steel." He's also worked with the likes of Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris and the late Gram Parsons, among others. The release from Brock is a reissue of the album that was originally released in 1985.

Label president Scott Beal says we can expect to see many more releases from Gaff in the near future. In July, the label is scheduled to release a yet-to-be-titled album from Grateful Dead alum Tom Constanten and a two-CD set from Arrogance which features Don Dixon, among others. The double disc set includes one "Best Of" disc of sorts and one including about 19 tracks of previously unreleased material. The label will also be reissuing a couple of albums from Jim Lauderdale later this year.

Beal, who previously owned Disc Works music store in Huntersville, says he feels the artists he's signed essentially tap into a vein of music that's "magical" but often ignored by larger labels. Gaff Music will be distributed exclusively through Redeye Distribution. Beal will also be bringing Egan to town next month for a show at Puckett's Farm Equipment on Friday, May 17. For more info on the label, check out www.gaffmusic.com.

* Charlotte's Michael Reno Harrell is a finalist in the MerleFest 2002 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. His song "The Baby's Name" was one of three songs selected as finalist in the Gospel Category. Over 850 recorded entries were submitted overall. Reno Harrell will now compete in the finals, which will take place at MerleFest 2002 on Friday, April 26. We'll keep you posted on the outcome.

* Tara Busch (ex-Sheva) is currently in the UK working with a new band, Dynamo Dresden. The band recently recorded a BBC Radio 1 Session, which can be found by going to www.bbc.co.uk (be sure to do a search on the band's name). Busch and company are currently touring across Europe and were also recently featured in the UK's Buzz magazine.

* Another local act that's been busy overseas has finally returned home. Antiseen recently played 22 shows in just 25 days in places like Germany, Holland, Denmark and Prague, to name a few. The band is now scheduled to appear at Tremont Music Hall on Saturday, April 27.

* Nothing But Drums, hosted and produced by John Ehlers, will be airing twice this month. The first episode will air 8pm Friday, April 19, and feature footage from the Living Colour show at Amos' Southend and an interview with Will Calhoun. The next show will air 8pm the following Sunday and will include Atlanta's Sick Speed (which now features two former local musicians, Keith Watson and Billy Gray) and the All Mighty Senators from Baltimore. Both shows will be aired on Cable Channel 18 Public Access.

* The folks from WEND 106.5 and Reflection Sound Studios are working on The Best of 90 Minutes Vol. II and are seeking submissions from area acts. Interested bands can submit a CD, cassette or DAT to: Best of 90 Minutes Vol. II, 801 E. Morehead St., Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28202. All entries must be received by 5pm Friday, April 19. No late entries will be accepted.

* Ernie Ball's Battle of the Bands 6 is currently underway and in search of bands from Charlotte to perform on the company's "Local Heroes Mobile Stage" at the Vans Warped Tour '02. Bands selected to perform will not only have the chance to play in front of large crowds, some acts will also win thousands of dollars worth of prizes. The tour begins June 21 and will hit 46 cities in North America, including Charlotte. Interested bands need to enter by May 20 by uploading photos, a bio and a one-song MP3 audio file on the Battle of the Bands 6 website. Bands will be notified starting May 20 with details on when and where they'll be playing. Four bands per each Warped Tour stop will be selected to perform at the venue closest to them. Bands playing on the Ernie Ball stage will also be entered into an online competition. A video of each band's live performance and previously submitted material will be posted on ernieball.com. Fans can go online to vote for an overall Battle of the Bands 6 winner. Winning bands will also receive full endorsements from sponsors which include Drum Workshop, EV (Electro-Voice), Zildjian, Guitar World and Digedesign, among others. For more info on the contest, contact Ernie Ball at 800-543-2255, or visit www.ernieball.com.

* Charlotte has yet another relatively new original act, this one called Lower Gate. The band, who says their sound is a combination of classic and new rock, features lead vocalist Lory Taylor, guitarists Will Wojtal and Gerald Taylor, bassist Roger Blanton and drummer Todd Goins. The band's next appearance in town is Friday, April 26, at Midtown 51. *

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