Billboard Bits: George Winston, Jones/Haggard, Twilight Singers

News on George Winston, Jones/Haggard, Twilight Singers

In addition to a new studio album, "Gulf Coast Blues and Impressions -- A Hurricane Relief Benefit," due next month, pianist George Winston will see two of his prior releases repackaged Oct. 3 via Windham Hill/Dancing Cat/Legacy.

His 1972 debut album, "Ballads & Blues 1972," has been appended with five previously unreleased bonus tracks: the originals "Blues in G," "Eleina's Grandmother's Rag" and "Bright Light Waltz," plus covers of Willie Dixon's "You Don't Love Me" and Alan Kilmartin's "Variations on Song for Kurt." Downloadable sheet music will also be included for album track "New Hope Blues."

Meanwhile, the boxed set "Complete Solo Piano Recordings 1972-2004" will be reissued to include all 10 of Winston's solo piano releases, five of which have been reissued in recent years with bonus tracks and sheet music. The original version of the box was released in 1996 and included Winston's seven albums up to that point.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

As a precursor to their collaborative album, "Kicking Out the Footlights... Again," George Jones and Merle Haggard will tape an episode of "CMT Cross Country" Aug. 9 at the Factory in Franklin, Tenn. A limited number of tickets will be available to the general public via

As previously reported, Jones and Haggard are teaming for their first album since 1982, on which they will re-record some of their classic tracks, such as Jones' "She Thinks I Still Care" and "The Window Up Above" plus Haggard's "Silver Wings" and "The Way I Am." The set is due Oct. 24 via Bandit.

Jones is also the subject of his own tribute album, which will feature contributions from Vince Gill, Pam Tillis, Sammy Kershaw, Mark Chesnutt and Tracy Lawrence. Dubbed "God's Country," that project is due in mid-October via Category 5 Records.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

In the wake of escalating violence between Israel and Lebanon, the Twilight Singers plan to honor an Aug. 30 booking in Tel Aviv. The show will be the Greg Dulli-led band's first in Israel and comes as part of a 22-city international tour.

"While I am saddened by the loss of life and property on both sides, my belief in freedom, democracy and the peaceful existence of the state of Israel remains steadfast," Dulli wrote on the band's
Web site. "To this end, the Twilight Singers show in Tel Aviv on Aug. 30 will go on as scheduled. We look forward to performing our songs for an audience who has yet to see us in their own country and hope to be visiting in a time of peace."

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.


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