Column from January 10th, 2000 issue

Haven't noticed many other people taking notice of the Eileen Shania Twain "Beginnings" album which is a whole load of demos Twain recorded in the late 1980s with Paul Sabu producing. It's very demo-ish, but some of it is quite interesting. It also reminds me that the country rock has taken the place of what was a big chunk of the AOR listening audience and many artists have adapted to cater for the audience more and more. It's almost like that part of the audience needs to feel more American and wants to have the blank anonymity of the Country and Western get-up (with the hats, boots, belt buckles and all that!).

One thing that did catch my attention on the early Twain release is that it one of the tracks "Don't Give me that Once Over" is claimed to have been written by Sabu and Twain. Kinda interesting seeing as Stan Meissner wrote and recorded it the best part of 10 years earlier! It was also covered, to superb effect, by Burning Rome on their one and only album (think that was a 1982 or 83 release). Wonder what Stan makes of that! Even more incestuously, Meissner does have that band Metropolis with Kim Mitchell's bass player Peter Fredette, and Fredette just happens to have playing recently in Twain's touring band! Wonder of there's even more of a story there than meets the eye....

The Dixie Dregs new live album - "California Screamin'" - has had its release date pushed back slightly and it's now due out February 1st. Most of the major on-line stores seem to be allowing you to pre-order now if you want to get in there early.

Casting my eye down the up-and-coming Japanese releases, I notice that all those UFO re-issues I mentioned a few weeks back have now been delayed to January 26th, and the two Bob Catley releases have been put back to February 2nd. Also on February 2nd, John Elefante's "Defying Gravity" (which sounds nothing like classic Kansas, contrary to claims you might see elsewhere) gets a Japanese issue with one bonus track included. Hugo's new album is due out February 9th, and 24K's "Pure" comes out in just over a week with a bonus track added. Jazzy guitarist Severin Browne also has his first album re-issued in Japan on February 16th, along with a further release "The New Improved Severin Browne".