Billboard Bits: Bernie Williams, Siren Festival, AthFest

News on Bernie Williams, Siren Fest, AthFest

BernieNew York Yankees centerfielder Bernie Williams has inked a deal with GRP for the release of "The Journey Within," his recording debut. The CD is expected in stores on July 15. Williams, who plays guitar, composed seven of the album's tracks, which are said to be in a contemporary and Latin jazz vein. Along with his own compositions are Williams' interpretations of Billy Joel's "And So It Goes" and Kansas' "Dust in the Wind."

Pianist David Benoit is featured on the first single "Just Because." Other guests include Bela Fleck and Ruben Blades. A limited edition of the CD will feature original cover art of Williams depicted by famed artist LeRoy Neiman.

Williams will perform at Chicago's House of Blues on July 13, coinciding with Major League Baseball's All-Star Weekend.

-- Steven Graybow, N.Y.

IdlewildThe Village Voice's third annual Siren Music Festival, set for July 19 at Coney Island, N.Y., has added a batch of new performers to its lineup. Idlewild, the Datsuns, Dirtbombs, Oneida, and the Witnesses join a
previously announced roster that boasts Modest Mouse, Hot Hot Heat, Sahara Hotnights, !!!, the Kills, Radio 4, Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Northern State, and the Pattern.

The free, all-ages concert will last from noon to 9 p.m. on two outdoor stages at the Coney Island amusement park. More bands are expected to be announced, with DJs added to the lineup as well. Check the event's official Web site for more information.

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.

CrackerCracker, the B-52s' Cindy Wilson, Kevn Kinney, Five-Eight, and I Am The World Trade Center are among the more than 120 acts set to perform at the seventh annual AthFest Music and Arts Festival in Athens, Ga. The four-day event, to be held June 19-22, will present music on two free outdoor stages, as well as at such city venues as the 40 Watt Club and the Georgia Theatre.

"Club Crawl" wristbands allowing access to indoor events cost $7 per night or $10 for the full festival in advance. For the full artist lineup and wristband information, visit the event's
Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.