Billboard Bits: Bullfrog, Chuck Berry, Cream/Kinetic
News on Bullfrog, Chuck Berry, Cream/KineticMontreal groove sextet Bullfrog will release its self-titled debut album Oct. 16 via Ropeadope/Atlantic, in conjunction with a month-long U.S. tour with labelmates Project Logic. "Bullfrog" will include the group's first two EPs, which have only been available at concerts, along with a selection of newly recorded tracks.
Bullfrog features the DJ work of Kid Koala (Gorillaz, Deltron 3030), who opened for Radiohead on its recent North American. tour. The seven-year old group was "conceived as a live act," according to Koala, and it performs over 100 shows a year in Canada and the U.S.
Project Logic, led by DJ Logic, will join Bullfrog for 15 dates of a 21-date tour, beginning Oct. 9 in Tempe, Ariz., and crossing the U.S. to finish Nov. 10 in Washington D.C. For a full list of tour dates, visit Bullfrog's official Web site.
-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.
Rock'n'roll progenitor Chuck Berry will celebrate his 75th birthday Oct. 18 with a concert in his St. Louis hometown that will also feature Little Richard and his band. Missouri Governor Bob Holden and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay will also be present at the celebration.
Berry and Richard, two of rock's earliest stars, have often toured together around the world, including a six-date stand at Las Vegas' Caesar's Palace venue in August 2000. Both have been playing since the 1950s and have made indelible contributions to rock'n'roll in their respective half-century careers.
Berry has been relatively quiet on the recorded front of late, although a 1999 MCA repackage, "Best of Chuck Berry -- The Millennium Collection," hit No. 13 on the Billboard Top Blues Albums chart.
-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.
Internationally revered U.K. dance/electronic brand Cream has signed a North American promotion and distribution deal with Kinetic Records. The first release from the venture is DJ Sandra Collins' "Cream," due Oct. 23. According to Kinetic president/founder Steve Lau, this will be the year's sole U.S. Cream release but says to expect around three Cream compilations in the U.S. next year. Kinetic will also tap some of the DJs on its roster to create beat-mixed Cream compilations aimed specifically at the American marketplace.
Created in 1992 when founder James Barton opened the Cream club in Liverpool, U.K., the Cream brand now encompasses a clothing line, festivals (Creamfields), and a record label. Until last November, Barton wasn't sure about entering the U.S. market, but then he "began seeing major changes in the dance/electronic scene in America," he says. "Interest in DJ culture has intensified in the past two years in the U.S. It feels like the right time to utilize our events to sell records and vice versa."
-- Michael Paoletta, N.Y.