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Reeling In Fans 

Statefish celebrates debut album with release party

Statefish, a relatively new Charlotte act, is celebrating the release of their debut album titled Fallin' Behind The Gravy Train, on Sunday, May 5, at Hart Wizen Gallery, 611 W. 5th St. The band consists of Matt Maher (vocals/guitar), Greg Martin (lead guitar), Jeff Byrnes (bass) and Tim Rebich (drums). The material was recorded live at a show at Garbo's earlier this year, and was produced by Brenda Gambill and engineered by Wall-Eyed Belinda. The Release Party will begin at 5pm and cover is $5. For more info, call 704-334-1177.

Speaking of Garbo's, the club has closed its doors until further notice. Co-owner Brenda Gambill says there are plans in the near future to open again at a different location.

* Another new band is also preparing to release its debut album. The Noise is a new, all-original band which has been together for about six months now. The band features Bruce Hazel (vocals/guitar/harmonica), Toby Weaver (guitar), Wes Deaton (bass) and Matt Fussel (drums). They recently recorded material with Scott Thompson and they'll celebrate the release of their self-titled debut on Wednesday, May 15, at the Double Door Inn. For more details, go to www.thenoiseband.com.

* The members of Blakrayn have reunited after spending some time on outside projects, including the Afro Piglets and Soulsauce. Look for the band to begin performing together on a regular basis soon. They've recorded a new album titled One and will probably release it sometime this summer. For more details, check out www.blakrayn.com.

* Sticky Gum Entertainment, the local record label formed by the members of Frocky Jack, announced the bands who are featured on their first release, the "Kick Your Own @ss" sampler titled Communists Are Part Time Workers. Selected bands include First Night On Earth, My So-Called Band, Neglected Sheep, The Ravelers, Tombstone Daddys and Pacer. For more details, visit http://sticky.indiegroup.com or http://frocky.indiegroup.com.

* The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) will be hosting a Charlotte Regional Workshop next month. Jerry Vandiver and Gracie Hollombe will present the workshop, Your First Cut, from 10am-3pm on Saturday, June 8, at the Evening Muse. Vandiver has spent the past 18 years writing songs for several different music companies in Nashville (currently, he's writing exclusively for Talbot Music). He's had songs recorded by the likes of Barbara Mandrell, Phil Vassar and Tim McGraw. Hollombe is the Regional Workshops Director for the NSAI and has guided coordinators for over 100 workshops worldwide. Space will be limited, so early registration is recommended. Registration fees vary for members and non-members, ranging from $25-$55. For more info, contact Bruce Johnson at 704-541-5658 or bjohnson7@carolina.rr.com.

* Chris Garges and Joe Kuhlmann have resigned from their positions at Studio East. Kuhlmann plans to focus more on the Evening Muse (which he co-owns) and Garges has been booking freelance studio sessions and playing lots of gigs in the area as well.

Some of the acts Garges has been working with include Stone's Throw, Jason Hausman, Chris Smith and John Dungan. For those "techies" out there, all this work is being done on Jay Howard Audio's new RADAR unit, a 24-bit, 24-track hard disk recorder that's quickly becoming an industry standard in noted places such as LA, New York and Nashville.

Garges currently has gigs lined up with Beth Chorneau, Hipshack, John Alexander, Ron Brendle, The Ticket, and The Chris Garges Trio (with Mark Stallings and Ron Brendle). The Trio is currently playing at Copeland's (University location) for their Jazz Brunch every Sunday from 12noon-3pm.

* Over at the Old House Recording Studio in Gastonia, Contagious is working on their first studio release. Other projects going on at the Studio include Marv Ward of Columbia, SC (winner of a Charlotte Blues Society Talent Contest), Joshua's Whispers, Strength, Chris Cook and Park Dogg.

* The Independent MusicFest 2002 is scheduled to take place in Nashville June 12-15 at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. The event will feature four days of music (all styles) and industry workshops (among other activities). The real kicker is the whole thing is free (parking and admission). For showcase entry information, booth availability, label artist showcasing and other event details, visit the Independent MusicFest website at www.nashvillemusicfest.com.

* Poprocket has a song featured on a DVD that accompanies the book Final Cut Pro 3 and the Art of Filmmaking by David and Jason Cranford Teague. The band's song "Bounce" is featured on the soundtrack to a short film included on the DVD. Currently, the book is available at Amazon.com. It'll hit most bookstores soon. For more info, go to www.poprocketband.com.

* Sideways Eight and the Jill Austin Band will compete in the Finals of the Battle of the Bands contest that's been going on over at Five Steps II since March. The final competition will take place on Friday, May 10. Call the club at 704-814-7837 for more details. *

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