Billboard Bits: Keen, SFA, St. Kitts/St. Lucia Fests
News on Robert Earl Keen, SFA, St. Kitts/St. Lucia FestsSinger/songwriter Robert Earl Keen will release his 11th album, "What I Really Mean," May 10 through Koch Records Nashville. Like 2003's "Farm Fresh Onions," the new set was produced by Keen's touring band guitarist, Rich Brotherton, and recorded by engineer Ed Cherney.
"'Farm Fresh Onions' turned out so great that Rich and I immediately decided to make another record," Keen says. "The first person we called was Ed Cherney. He's the MVP. We like Ed's version of our vision."
Keen's touring band supports him on "What I Really Mean," which also features guest appearances by legendary country artist Ray Price and noted banjo player Danny Barnes. In typical fashion, the artist will hit the road in the spring and intends to be out through the end of the year.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
XL/Beggars Group will on March 22 reissue five Super Furry Animals albums that have been out of print for years. The group's 1996 debut, "Fuzzy Logic," will be augmented with the bonus tracks "Organ yn dy Geg," "Cyrs Ti," "Lazy Life," "Death by Melody" and "Waiting To Happen," while the following year's "Radiator" will include the extras "Mu-tron," "No K," "Foxymusic," "Hit & Run" and "Wrap it Up."
The 1999 effort "Guerilla," which was the band's final release for Creation U.K., is appended with "The Matter of Time," "Colorblind," "Ms. Spector," "This, That and the Other" and "Misunderstanding." The 2000 all-Welsh album "Mwng" will feature a second disc of rarities, while the collection is rounded out by the 1998 odds-and-ends compilation "Out Spaced."
As previously reported, SFA are working on their seventh full-length album, while frontman Gruf Rhys yesterday (March 8) released his solo debut, "Yr Atal Genhedlaeth."
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Wyclef Jean and Boyz II Men lead the lineup for the ninth St. Kitts Music Festival, to be held June 23-26 on the Caribbean island. The event will also feature performances by Pieces Of A Dream, Lonnie Liston Smith, Ronnie Laws, David Rudder, Black Stalin and the Granmdmasters.
In addition, the lineup for the annual St. Lucia Jazz Festival has also been confirmed, with Fantasia, Beenie Man, UB40, Chris Botti, Earl Klugh, Pharoah Sanders, New Edition and Ronald Isley set to appear. The festival runs from April 29-May 8.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.