Column from February 1st, 1999

Got some interesting Steve Morse and Dixie Dregs news this time around. Apparently Steve has had a mutual parting of ways with label Windham Hill which holds his solo contract. Windham Hill seems to be moving in a different direction focussed on R&B and Smooth Jazz so there didn’t seem to any compelling reason for Morse to stay attached to them. Morse will still finish both his new Steve Morse Band album and the all acoustic project I’ve talked of before. Even if a new deal isn’t forthcoming, Morse will go ahead and release them on his own Dreg Records label….

Furthermore, Steve Morse is planning to do a whole new Dixie Dregs album later this year. With all the original members and guests like Jordan Rudess…. Again, it’s likely to be released on the Dregs Records label and it should be a great one. Run in past for more details and to pledge your support!

Going back to the them for some of my other recent columns and labels ignoring huge sections of the music buying public: Virgin in the UK are planning to redesign a number of the stores to, and I quote, "appeal to 30+ customers rather than 15-24". Sounds like someone is waking up to what is really behind the problems of the current music industry – if a major retailed like that is making such a move (even if they do charge extortionate prices) then some major labels are finally going to have to wake up…. Initially Virgin is conducted the redesign on one store outside London, all being successful, the next store it would be applied to would be the flagship main London Virgin Megastore.

Anyone out there here the EP that’s been put out by Berlin (although Terri Nunn is the only original member). I’m hearing great things about it, but can’t for the life of me find out how to locate. Supposed to be great guitar rock drawing on the best bits of "Count Three and Pray" and Terri’s solo album "Moment of Truth"…..

Also been listening to an advance of Fergie Fredriksen’s solo album "Equilibrium" which is due out later this month. Sounds very good and strong AOR more like his work with Le Roux than the disappointing Fredriksen/Phillips project with Ricky Phillips….

Checking down the up-and-coming Japanese release schedules there’s some interesting things coming up: just out is a "Thanks to You" compilation from Richard Marx with two unreleased tracks; the new album from the Johansson brothers is due February 3rd with one bonus track; "Queen of the Ocean" an all new solo album from the prolific Lana Lane is due February 21st; Toto’s new "Mindfields is due February 24th and the Japanese version will again have a bonus track; Terra Nova’s new one "Make my Day" comes out March 3rd and will have one bonus track; Velocity main-man David Victor’s re-issue of his solo album "Proof through the Night" follows March 25th; and the same day will also see the issue of Von Groove’s "Test of Faith" which will have two bonus tracks for Japan.