Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp will be held April 29 -May 3 in Hollywood, California. Celebrity mentors for the amateur singers, songwriters and musicians include Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, Todd Rundgren, former Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, former Cars guitarist Elliott Easton, producer Mark Hudson, Yes drummer Alan White and former Guns 'N Roses bassist Duff McKagan. During the five-day event, attendees will rehearse daily with the rock stars. They'll also write and record their own original song at Capitol Studios and perform at Hollywood's Whisky-A-Go-Go nightclub.
Eagles Basist Working on Solo Album
The Eagles' bassist Timothy B. Schmit is working on his first solo album in eight years. Expando will include guest appearances by Kid Rock, Dwight Yoakam, Graham Nash, Keb' Mo', Kenny Wayne Shepherd, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Van Dyke Parks and Garth Hudson of The Band. Schmit told Billboard, "I'm really, really happy with this because for the first time I feel like it's totally me. I wrote the whole thing. I did it at my home studio, and I play as much on it as possible. For the first time I think it's really more me, really what I represent. It's kind of hard to describe, but I would say in many cases it's much more raw than anything I've ever done before." Expando will be released later this year. In the meantime, he'll join the Eagles for a European tour, which begins on May 29 in Sweden.
5 Contestants Compete for American Idol Title
Two contestants were voted off the disco-themed American Idol on April 22. The elimination of 22-year-old college student Anoop Desai and 24-year-old single mother of three Lil Rounds has the competition down to its final five. During the show, host Ryan Secrest announced that a record 45 million votes were cast. April 28, the final five contestants will perform standards made famous by the "Rat Pack" (Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.). American Idol season five winner Taylor Hicks will perform a song from his new album during the April 29 elimination show.
Bon Jovi Documentary Premieres at Tribeca Film Festival
On April 29, Bon Jovi's documentary, Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful, will premiere at New York's Tribeca Film Festival. The film, which celebrates the band's 25th anniversary, follows the group on its 2008 "Lost Highway" tour. The tour's final shows took place at New York's Central Park and Madison Square Garden.
Dylan to release new album
Bob Dylan's new album, Together Through Life, will be released on April 28. Dylan posted an interview on his web site that said his new songs have more of a romantic edge than the music on his last album, Modern Times. Dylan says, "Some people preferred my first period songs. Some, the second. Some, the Christian period. Some, the post Colombian. Some, the Pre-Raphaelite. Some people prefer my songs from the '90s. I see that my audience now doesn't particularly care what period the songs are from. They feel style and substance in a more visceral way and let it go at that. Images don't hang anybody up. Images are taken at face value and it kind of freed me up."
New Album Releases April 28
"Growing Up Is Getting Old" - Jason Michael Carroll
"University A Capella!" - Ben Folds
"Never Going Back" - Collin Raye
"Little Red" - Sarah Marshall
"Five Peace Band" - John McLaughlin and Chick Corea
"Down The Wire" - Spyro Gyra
"Awake" - Julian Marley
Panamanian reggaeton singer Flex won eight trophies at the April 23 Billboard Latin Music Awards. He took home the Latin Album of the Year honor for Te Quiero (I Love You) and won seven additional awards for the album's title track. Other major winners included pop singer Enrique Iglesias, who received six awards, and Mexican pop group Mana and New York-based bachata group Aventura, who each earned four. During the awards show, three special honors were handed out. Carlos Santana was given the Lifetime Achievement Award, Daddy Yankee received the Spirit of Hope Award for his humanitarian work, and the late Raul Alarcon, Sr. was recognized for his contribution to Latin radio and television with the Hall of Fame Award. (Complete list of winners at www.billboard.com.)
On April 23, the Gospel Music Association presented its 40th annual Dove Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. Leading winners included Steven Curtis Chapman, who received his seventh Artist of the Year award. He also picked up the Songwriter of the Year trophy. Natalie Grant was named Female Vocalist of the Year, Brandon Heath took home the Male Vocalist of the Year award and also won the Song of the Year category for "Give Me Your Eyes," Casting Crowns was named Group of the Year and Tenth Avenue North earned the New Artist of the Year honor. (Complete list of winners at www.doveawards.com).
Look Who's Going On Tour!
Beyonce will kick off a 33-date European tour on April 26 in Zagreb, Croatia. Shows are also scheduled in Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and Ireland. After wrapping up the tour on June 9, she'll return to the U.S. to begin North American shows on June 21 at New York's Madison Square Garden.
On May 2, No Doubt will begin a North American tour in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The 53-date outing marks the band's first tour in more than five years. No Doubt will take a mobile studio on the road with them to work on a new album, which is expected to be out in 2010. Their last release was 2001's "Rock Steady." Since then, lead singer Gwen Stefani has recorded two solo albums. She also gave birth to two sons, Kingston and Zuma.