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McLaughlin keeps Dos rolling

McLaughlin keeps Dos rolling

This Friday at Springwater, Pat McLaughlin brings his collaboration with members of the subdudes to Nashville for the first time. Billed as Tiny Town, McLaughlin and the trio have been playing to enthusiastic audiences in New Orleans for several months. Besides McLaughlin, who plays guitar and sings, the band features subdudes singer-guitarist Tommy Malone and bassist Johnny Ray. On drums is Kenneth Blevins, who has played with Malone and Ray in different bands over the years.

“I got introduced to them through mutual friends in New Orleans—in particular, by Carlo Nuccio, who’s played drums with me for years,” McLaughlin explains. “We started cowriting some together, and of course writing together entails a little bit of playing together. We sort of enjoyed doing that, so we decided to take it to another level.... We make a pretty good racket, I guess—actually, I don’t know if it’s any good or not, but we’re having fun with it. I think they enjoyed the chance to play something a little harder, a little more rock ’n’ roll.”

Meanwhile, McLaughlin says that reports of the demise of Dos Records have been greatly exaggerated. The Austin-based label released the singer-songwriter’s 1994 album Unglued, as well as 1995’s Get Out and Stay Out, a prime collection originally recorded for EMI Records in 1989. Dos stopped doing business with distributors last year, but McLaughlin says the company is finishing details on a deal for national distribution with Warner Bros. Records. If the deal comes through as expected, he’ll begin work on a new album for the label. In the meantime, McLaughlin’s “Don’t Tell Me” can be heard on Taj Mahal’s new album, and a new version of “Complicated” should be showing up on Tanya Tucker’s next collection.

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Plug in Your Instrument Dept.: Joe, Marc’s Brother, the Nashville power-pop group that just celebrated its first year together last month, will not only play its Friday-night gig at the Sutler unplugged but with a string quartet as well. Joe Pisapia, who moved to Nashville nearly three years ago with his brother Marc before founding the band in May 1995, reports that he did all the arrangements himself on a friend’s Macintosh using a MIDI keyboard—despite the fact he’d never composed for a string section before.

“I tried to go for an Art Deco feel—a 20th-century sound,” explains Joe, Marc’s brother. “Something like Stravinsky or Ives, you know, with real drama. I tried to make it real thick.” In English, please? “He’s really excited about it,” explains Marc, Joe’s brother. The string quartet—named the Roy G. Biv Quartet for the initials of the colors on the color wheel—will be led by former Human Radio member Peter Hyrka.

The opening act is Farmer Not-So-John, also performing unplugged. A couple of weeks ago at 12th & Porter, the group’s winsome Jayhawks-y harmonies and genial folk-rock were in good form; rumor has it the group will be inking a deal soon. It’ll be worth a trip just to see if Farmer Not-So-John performs its soul-stirring rendition of the Love Boat theme.

Little Jimmy Dickens is best known these days as a bulwark of the Grand Ole Opry, where he has performed off and on since 1949 and steadily since the 1970s. But Dickens was a certified hitmaker himself for three decades, as the new Razor & Tie compilation I’m Little but I’m Loud: The Little Jimmy Dickens Collection proves. Included are such Dickens favorites as “Take an Old Cold ’Tater (And Wait),” “Hillbilly Fever,” and of course his 1965 novelty sensation “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.” Look for I’m Little But I’m Loud at Ernest Tubb and other fine stores.

Elliptical dispatches: The Delevantes’ video “Driving at Night” has risen to No. 1 on CMT Europe. Instead of celebrating with cigars, brandy and a tape of cream-cheese-wrestling highlights, they’ll be performing the next few Tuesday nights at 12th & Porter....

Keep an ear peeled for You Can Say That Again, the new album from ’70s country star Johnny Rodriguez, due July 2 from HighTone Records. Rodriguez, known for such hits as “Pass Me By” and “Ridin’ My Thumb to Mexico,” has reteamed with the producers of his very first album, Jerry Kennedy and Roy Dea, for the HighTone LP. Featured tracks include covers of Lucinda Williams’ “Big Red Sun Blues” and Dave Alvin’s “Every Night About This Time”....

HighTone has also signed country singer Marty Brown, who recorded three outstanding but commercially underwhelming albums for MCA a few years back. Brown’s HighTone debut, soon to be recorded here at Bradley’s Barn with producer Bruce Bromberg, will arrive in September....

The PRIMUS Franklin Jazz Festival recently announced that the headlining performers for its seventh annual event will be New Orleans legend Dr. John and Grammy-winning guitarist Larry Carlton. Also slated to perform at the fest, which takes place Aug. 3 and 4 in the town square, are Cliff Richmond and the Cliffnotes, the Nashville Jazz Machine, Jeff Kirk, Reggie Wooten, Som Brasileiro, and Celinda Pink....

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