Billboard Bits: CMA Awards, Buffett, Andrew W.K.

News on CMA Awards, Jimmy Buffett, Andrew W.K.

Adding local flavor to the staging of the 39th annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, New York's Paul Simon and New Jersey's Jon Bon Jovi have been tapped to perform during the Nov. 15 ceremony at Madison Square Garden. The event, broadcast live on CBS, will also include an appearance by actor James Gandolfini, who portrays an N.J.-based mob boss on HBO's "The Sopranos."

Reprising a duet they performed recently on "CMT Crossroads," Bon Jovi and Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles will deliver "Who Says You Can't Go Home." Simon will perform a song with Willie Nelson; the pair will also present the song of the year award.

Other performers newly added to the CMA Awards are Alison Krauss + Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Miranda Lambert and Julie Roberts. They join a lineup that already includes hosts Brooks & Dunn, Dierks Bentley, Big & Rich, Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, George Strait, Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson and Lee Ann Womack.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

Jimmy Buffett's two September 2004 concerts at Boston's Fenway Park are captured on the CD/DVD package "Live at Fenway Park," due Nov. 15 via the artist's own Mailboat label. The CD portion rounds up 32 selections, 12 of which are repeated on the 55-minute DVD.

"Live at Fenway Park" begins with acoustic renditions of "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes" and "The Great Filling Station Holdup," and proceeds to hit such favorites as "A Pirate Looks at Forty," "Fins," "Scarlet Begonias," "Brown Eyed Girl" and "Defying Gravity," which was dedicated to the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Midway through the Sept. 10 show, Buffett produced a Caribbean-dressed "Jolly Mon" to "reverse" the curse on the Boston Red Sox, using it to hit T-shirts into the audience. The Sox promptly came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the New York Yankees in the American League Division series and went on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in four straight World Series games.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Zealous rock artist Andrew W.K. will be the subject of the DVD "Who Knows?," due Jan. 24 via Music Video Distribution. The first four years of W.K.'s career, which found him emerging from thin air with the 2002 Island album "I Get Wet," are spotlighted in the film, which the artist himself narrates.

Live performances of 15 songs are featured, including "Party Hard," "Long Live the Party," "It's Time To Party" and "I Love New York City." Also included are interviews with fans outside one of W.K.'s New York concerts.

Although his signature style comprised a dirty white T-shirt and long, scraggly hair, W.K. recently appeared in a Fader magazine profile looking nearly unrecognizable with short, slicked back hair and stylish clothing. The artist is at work on his third album, but no release date has yet been revealed.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.