News on Justin Timberlake, Suwannee Springfest, Les Paul

Groove ArmadaRhapsody, the music subscription service from Listen.com, is offering users an exclusive interview with Justin Timberlake, as well as a remix of his track "Like I Love You" by U.K. electronica act Basement Jaxx, Billboard Bulletin reports. The offer is being promoted via Rhapsody distribution partner Lycos at music.lycos.com.

Rhapsody recently began offering content exclusives in which original interviews are packaged into album bundles. Those who stream a special version of Timberlake's album "Justified" (Jive) will receive interview segments interspersed between songs.

In other news, Rhapsody has quietly launched an initiative, "Rhapsody Premiere," in which tracks are unveiled on the service ahead of other online outlets. Participants thus far have included Art Garfunkel and Bruce Hornsby.


-- Brian Garrity, N.Y.







Groove ArmadaThe Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Earl Scruggs Family & Friends Band, Rhonda Vincent, Darol Anger & Mike Marshall, and Jim Lauderdale are among the acts confirmed for the seventh annual Suwannee Springfest, to be held March 2003 at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Fla.

Other acts set for the event include Guy Clark, Donna The Buffalo, Tony Rice, Vassar Clements, and Darrell Scott. Fans can get early discounts on tickets by visiting the Springfest's official Web site.

The 2002 edition of the festival sported appearances by Nickel Creek, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Railroad Earth, and Doc Watson, among others.


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.







Months after presenting it during a ceremony celebrating next year's return of the Grammy Awards to New York, one of legendary guitarist/guitar innovator Les Paul's personal custom Gibson Les Paul model guitars will go under the virtual hammer tomorrow (Dec. 11) via eBay.com to raise funds for the Fire Department of Uniformed Firefighters Association Widows and Children Fund. The guitar features Sept. 11 scenes painted by Peter Ortel, a retired New York City fireman.

After being displayed in the lobby of New York's Madison Square Garden for several months, the guitar is now safely at Gibson's headquarters in Nashville; pictures of the instrument can be seen on the company's official Web site. The eBay auction will run through Dec. 21, with all proceeds to be donated to the fund.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

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