Billboard Bits: Save The Music/Thomas, Ivy, Tim McGraw

News on Save The Music/Thomas, Ivy, Tim McGraw

RobRob Thomas, Bon Jovi, Joss Stone, Queen Latifah and John Legend will perform at a benefit concert for VH1's Save the Music Foundation on April 11 at New York's Beacon Theatre. The event will broadcast six days later on VH1. Yesterday (Feb. 28), officials announced a donation of more than $1 million worth of musical instruments to the New York public schools via Save the Music, which has restored musical instrument programs to 166 New York schools since 1997.

In related news, Thomas has revealed additional details about his solo debut, "...Something To Be," due April 19 via Atlantic. John Mayer plays guitar on "Streetcorner Symphony," while guitarists Mike Campbell (the Heartbreakers), Jeff Trott (Sheryl Crow) and Wendy Melvoin (Wendy & Lisa) appear on as-yet-unannounced cuts. First single "Lonely No More" is No. 4 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 chart and in the top 20 of both the Adult Contemporary and Mainstream Top 40 tallies.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

IvyNew York rock outfit Ivy will play its first live shows in several years this spring in support of its new album, "In the Clear," which hits stores today (March 1) via Nettwerk. After an April 22 hometown show at the Bowery Ballroom, the group, which will be augmented to a six-piece, will head west for six additional shows, concluding May 16 in Vancouver.

The 10-track "In the Clear" blends the electronic-oriented sounds of 2001's "Long Distance" with the more guitar-driven leanings of Ivy's early albums, best heard on the dark, driving "Tess Don't Tell" and the lush, piano-driven opener "Nothing but the Sky."

In a first, the band employed a guest vocalist for album closer "Feel So Free," which features Girls Against Boys' Scott McCloud dueting with Ivy's Dominique Durand. Other guests on the set include Smashing Pumpkins/A Perfect Circle guitarist James Iha and Brazilian string arranger Ze Luis.

Here are Ivy's tour dates:

April 22: New York (Bowery Ballroom)
May 9: San Diego (Casbah)
May 11: Los Angeles (Troubadour)
May 12: San Francisco (Slim's)
May 14: Portland, Ore. (Doug Fir Lounge)
May 15: Seattle (Crocodile Cafe)
May 16: Vancouver (Richard's on Richards

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

TimTim McGraw will perform a rare all-acoustic set at the annual Larry King Cardiac Foundation benefit, set for March 11 in Washington, D.C. McGraw will be joined by his band, the Dancehall Doctors, at the event, which will also feature actor/comedian Martin Short.

The hard-touring McGraw is enjoying a break from the road, with no tour dates on his schedule until July. At that point, he will strike out for headlining shows and stops at various festivals and fairs. At deadline, he is due to open the run July 8 in Fort Loramie, Ohio, and play Wisconsin's Country Thunder (July 20) and Country Jam USA (July 21) festivals, as well as the Iona (Mich.) Free Fair (July 28).

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.