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Former Charlottean gets a record deal

Charlotte native Joe Firstman was in town earlier this week for a show at Amos' Southend. After moving from NC to Los Angeles in 2000, the singer-songwriter landed a deal with Atlantic Records last year. His EP Wives Tales is in stores now while his major label debut, The War of Women is scheduled to drop on August 12. While living in Charlotte, Firstman played in the group Isabelle Soul. He also spent time living in Raleigh where he formed the band firstMAN. More details on Firstman can be found at

The Complex Radio Local Music Show on WSGE 91.7 FM is now airing from 10pm to 12midnight every Monday. The new time slot will allow host Andrew Webster to broadcast live and have bands in the studio most every week. Webster is also in the final stages of putting together a five to six CD set of local music that he's featured on the show. The project is slated for a mid-August release. For more details on the show or compilation set, check out

Locally based record label Gaff Music has announced plans to release a new CD by Ian McLagan (Small Faces, the Faces) in January. Many of Gaff's most recent releases, projects from Madison Smartt Bell and Glenn Phillips, have been receiving positive reviews in national publications including Rolling Stone, Relix and Esquire.

The Noise are hosting a CD Release Party at the Steeple Lounge on Friday, July 11. The new disc is titled Fall of the Chicken King and a free copy will come with the price of admission. The record was produced by Tracey Schroeder and J. Tilyard and mastered by Dave Harris. For more info, go to

Greg Brangle will also be hosting a CD Release party over at the Double Door on Saturday, July 12. The first 100 people in attendance will receive a free CD. The disc, titled Songs of Love or Lack There Of, was recorded at Reflection Sound Studios with engineer Dave Puryear. The material was produced and mixed by Puryear and Brangle and mastered by Dave Harris.

Dave Beaumont of Meck Deck Productions has been busy establishing his official headquarters (he's got an office up and running now) and working on various projects. Currently he's planning the debut show for SuperFly, a group featuring former members of Sunny Ledfurd. SL alumni HogJazz and Lotto front the group. A show is scheduled for July 11 at Amos' Southend. Etheric and Dominant 7 will also be on the bill.

Beaumont also reports that Status Flow will have a new release available soon. Eric Shelley has been recruited as the band's new bassist. And Astrid Haven have recently joined the Meck Deck family.

Jester Fizz has just released a new CD titled One to Remember. The band's release party last month was also their last show for the summer as they've decided to take a much-needed break. For details on the disc, go to

Over at Left of the Dial recording studio, Trim the Fat, Another Day, Kudrna and Toxicrush have been working on new projects.

The new release from My Dog Kootch, Laxative Attitudes, was also recorded at Left of the Dial earlier this year. For more info on the studio, check out www.left

After their upcoming show at The Room this weekend, The Talk are heading to Omaha, NE, for a month to work on a new record. The band will be working with producer Mike Mogis (The Faint, Bright Eyes) while in Nebraska. The band recently signed with MoRisen Records, too.

Defi has a new web address at The band is currently scheduled to appear at the Mid-Summer Metal Fest scheduled for July 19 at Tremont Music Hall.

Art Bordeaux at the Sound Farm recently had the honor of working with John Cowan and his new band on an upcoming release for Sugar Hill Records. Bordeaux says he initially met Cowan through working with the local bluegrass group Candlewyck. "It was a real challenge to engineer/produce with studio pros like that but I'm proud to have had the opportunity," Bordeaux says.

CL was recently informed of the passing of Jason Ramirez, who died this past April. Jason was the bass player for Dahli Llama (a popular local band from the early 90s) throughout its incarnation, and also played with Muscadine for a brief stint. We were notified by Jason's former bandmate from Dahli Llama, Bill Kirch, who commented on Jason's talents as well. "Jason was not only a gifted musician but a prolific songwriter. Those that had the pleasure to watch him play bass knew he was blessed with a special talent," he said. "I know I speak for all of Jason's fellow bandmates in Dahli Llama, Trey, Tara, Ann and myself, when I say he will be missed and mourned," he added.

Around the region: The sixth annual Doc Watson Music Fest will be taking place in Sugar Grove, NC (eight miles west of Boone), July 11-12. Along with Doc and his grandson Richard, The Kruger Brothers, David Holt, the Lazybirds and the Steep Canyon Rangers are among the performers scheduled to appear. For more details, go to

The Piedmont and Appalachian Blues Festival will be held on Saturday, July 12 at the Blue Ridge Music Center's outdoor amphitheatre. Etta Baker, Cephas and Wiggins, Jeffery Scott and Warner Williams are among the acts scheduled to appear. The concert is part of the 2003 summer series which is presenting weekly shows through September 20. For more info on the festival or concert series, check out

The Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, NC, is presenting a major retrospective exhibition of over 120 photographs by artist and musician John Cohen through August 17. The exhibit coincides with the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings release There Is No Eye: Music For Photographs, a 23-track collection featuring music by many of the musicians Cohen photographed, including Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, Roscoe Holcomb, Woody Guthrie, Bill Monroe and Cohen's own New Lost City Ramblers. For more details, go to

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