News on Country Auction, Tegan & Sara, Hung

AlanAlan Jackson and Martina McBride are among the artists contributing items to this year's Celebrity Rags 4 Charity Riches online auctions. The first auction will run Oct. 16-23 via e-Bay, coinciding with USA Weekend's 13th Annual Make a Difference campaign, with proceeds going to various organization of the artists' choice.

The winning bid for a Dairy Queen shirt McBride wore for a recent InStyle magazine photo shoot will benefit the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Organization of Wichita, Kan., while Jackson's donated denim and leather cowboy shirt will reap rewards for Angel's House. Other acts donating items include Alison Krauss, Gretchen Wilson, Joe Nichols, Buddy Jewell, Emerson Drive, Naomi Judd and Craig Morgan.

A separate Oct. 23-30 auction with donations still to be announced will benefit the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. For more information on both events, visit

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

SaraIn the run up to a performances at the Oct. 23-24 Bridge School Benefit concerts in California, Canadian twin sister act Tegan and Sara will kick off a brief tour Sept. 27 in Toronto. After three shows, the trek crosses the border into the United States, with stops throughout the Northeast.

The pair is touring in support of its latest album "So Jealous" (Vapor/Sanctuary)," music from which can be sampled on their official Web site.

Here are Tegan and Sara's tour dates:

Sept. 27: Toronto (The Mod Club)
Sept. 28: Ottawa, Ont. (Barrymore's)
Sept. 29: Montreal (La Sala Rosa)
Oct. 16: New York (Bowery Ballroom)
Oct. 17: Northampton, Mass. (Pearl Street)
Oct. 18: Philadelphia (Theatre Of Living Arts)
Oct. 19: Ithaca, N.Y. (The Haunt)
Oct. 20: State College, Pa. (TBD)
Oct. 21: New York (Bowery Ballroom)
Oct. 23-24: Mountain View, Calif. (Shoreline Amphitheatre; Bridge School Benefit)

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

HungSecond season "American Idol" reject William Hung will release a seasonal EP, "Hung for the Holidays," Oct. 19 via Koch Records. The disc will feature six traditional favorites, including "Deck the Halls," "Silver Bells" and "Little Drummer Boy."

A trio of "holiday greetings" and thoughts on the season appear interspersed with the music. Hung's version of Queen's "We Are the Champions," utilized in a summer television ad campaign for the Game Show Network, is included as a bonus track. Adding value to the set's suggested $7.98 retail price is a Christmas ornament that folds out from the disc's packaging.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.