Column from December 20th, 1999 edition

Donnie Iris has a new album due out imminently. It's called "Together Alone" and will feature guest appearances from Scott Blasey (of The Clarks), Joe Grushecky, B.E. Taylor, Rick Witkowski, Michael Stanley, and a load of others. Produced by long-time cohort Mark Avsec, as well as new songs, it will continue acoustic versions of "The Promise" and "Ah! Leah!". Get more details at http://www.donnieiris.com/.

GB Music has the CDs from 8084 and Axminster coming our any day. The 8084 project goes by the name of "So Far" and includes five new versions of songs from their debut album plus other tracks from the "Love and War" and "Satisfaction Guaranteed" releases. Axminster is from the same stable of Hirsh Gardner (ex New England) productions and is cool rock as well - even if it has been sitting on the shelf for the best part of 10 years..... More details at http://www.gbmusic.com.

The new year looks like being a busy one for fans of Little Feat. The band have an all new album (their 16th) slated for a June 2000 release to mark their 30th anniversary. Reports say there will be a lot of interesting guests and a mixture of live and studio tracks. A box set of their first 15 albums will also be out by September with loads of bonus and unreleased tracks. Not content with just that another album "Live from the El Rey" will be available in February but only thought the wed and "non-traditional retail outlets at a price of $7.99". You'll also be able to download the whole album in Liquidaudio format. For further details visit http://www.littlefeat.net.

Venice has just put out a new, Christmas album called funnily enough "Christmas with Venice". It's traditional Christmas music (like you need me to tell you that!) played acoustically with the semi-famous Lennon brothers four-part harmonies over the top.... However, this 12 song release is only available from the band direct and will not be on regular sale anywhere. To order it send $20 to: Christmas with Venice, 12228 Venice Blvd., #435 Los Angeles, CA 90066, USA. You can also hear samples from the disk at http://www.pacificnet.net/~egoman/venice/audioxmas.html. The band are also expected to play some new concerts in Europe (The Netherlands specifically) in March , dates and venues should be firmed up shortly....

Keyboard player Eric Ragno has left Takara, but he's still got a raft of alternative projects in progress. He's been working with progressive band Equinox on material for their second album (the follow-up to "The Colour of Time"). Recording there is due to start in February and you can get more details at http://equinox.simplenet.com/New.htm. He's also working again with fusion guitarist Damir Simic-Shime and the two are writing for an acoustic album (said to be the style of modern/new age flamenco guitarist Ottmar Liebert). More details on all of Eric's projects can be found at http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Venue/1046/.