News on The Music, Bennett, Bloom

MusicU.K. rock act the Music will on Oct. 19 release its sophomore album, "Welcome to the North," in North America via Capitol. The set was produced by Brendan O'Brien, best known for his work with Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam, among others. Fans will be able to download the title track Monday (July 19) via the Music's official Web site.

In its home territory, "Welcome to the North" will arrive Sept. 20, preceded on Sept. 6 by the single "Freedom Fighters." The group recently returned to the live stage with two U.K. appearances, in advance of an Aug. 7-8 visit to Japan's Summer Sonic Festival. A handful of North American appearances and a full U.K. tour will follow, beginning Sept. 24 in Cambridge.

"Welcome to the North" is the follow-up to 2002's self-titled debut, which reached No. 4 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart.


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.







TonyTony Bennett's original oils, watercolors and sketches will be showcased next month at Washington, D.C.'s P&C Art Gallery. The exhibit will be open to the public Aug. 18-31. Bennett will attend an invitation-only Aug. 17 reception at the Georgetown gallery.

The showing falls in the midst of Bennett's summer tour and coincides with an Aug. 16 performance at Wolf Trap in nearby Vienna, Va. The tour kicks off Aug. 6 in Saratoga, Calif., and is slated to wrap Sept. 24 in Cleveland.

For more information and to view samples of Bennett's artwork, visit Benedettoarts.com


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







BloomIrish singer/songwriter Luka Bloom's latest set, the nine-song "Before Sleep Comes," is due Sept. 27 in the United States via Bar/None Records. Already released in Europe via various labels depending upon the region, the intimate album is, as the title suggests, intended "to bring you closer to sleep, our sometimes elusive night-friend," Bloom explains.

The collection of new songs and traditional ballads was borne of the quieter playing style to which Bloom was limited while recovering from a severe case of tendonitis in his right hand. "After a few weeks of really soft playing, I became fond of it," he says, "and began to feel very relaxed with this style of playing, almost non-playing."

Following a U.S. tour in June, Bloom has a handful of dates in late July and August scattered about Europe, according to his official Web site. His lone U.S. appearance during that time will come Aug. 22 as part of the Milwaukee Irish Festival.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.