Tag Archives: Lucinda Williams

80 artists tip their hats to Bob Dylan to benefit Amnesty International

Two iconic forces that have impacted the past 50 years – the life-saving human rights activism of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Amnesty International and the incomparable artistry of Bob Dylan – are being saluted by 80 musicians who contributed new or previously unreleased recordings to Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.

Chimes of Freedom is Executive Produced by legendary music executive Jeff Ayeroff and Julie Yannatta, who spearheaded Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur – a 2007 collection of John Lennon solo compositions performed by major artists including U2, Green Day, and R.E.M.

The collection is scheduled for physical (4 discs) and digital release in North America on January 24, 2012 through Fontana Distribution. It will be distributed internationally through Fontana International, a Universal Music company, on January 30.

Chimes of Freedom features a stellar and diverse group of artists across the generational and musical spectrum. The performers, including many of Amnesty International’s longtime supporters, range in age from teenage pop star Miley Cyrus, 19, to folk music legend Pete Seeger, who, at 92, records Dylan’s poignant “Forever Young,” with a children’s chorus.

The diversity of the musicians and musical genres – from rock, rap, hip-hop to pop, folk, country, jazz and blues — attests to Amnesty’s depth of support in the music community, the universal appeal of the core message of human rights, and the breadth of Dylan’s impact on culture. Almost every track on the album is being released for sale for the first time* – except for the title song, Dylan’s original 1964 recording of “Chimes of Freedom.” Seventy songs were recorded especially for this release – with the addition of a few previously unreleased recordings.

“This album is a powerful fusion of the music community’s respect for Amnesty’s life-affirming work and for Bob Dylan’s enduring brilliance,” said Ayeroff and Yannatta.  “We are proud to have worked with Amnesty to produce this remarkable project.”

In 1962, Amnesty International evolved from a one-year campaign to free political prisoners into a worldwide movement fighting for justice, freedom and human dignity; today the organization has more than three million supporters in 150 countries.  In March of that same year Bob Dylan’s debut album was released, launching an unparalleled recording career.

“Over the half century, Dylan’s art has explored and expressed the anguish and hope of the modern human condition,” observed Sean Wilentz, the noted historian, in the album liner notes.

“Bob Dylan’s music endures because he so brilliantly captures  our heartbreak, our joy, our frailty, our confusion, our courage and our struggles,” said Karen Scott Amnesty International’s Manager of Music Relations. “His words convey a depth of meaning that few artists can equal, inspiring us and always moving ahead of our expectations.  We at Amnesty International are deeply grateful to this legendary musician and to all of the artists who have contributed to this project.”

All of the artists, session musicians, arrangers, engineers, producers and recording studios worked pro-bono to support the human rights cause. Almost 30 tracks on the album were mixed gratis by famed engineer Bob Clearmountain. Bob Ludwig and Adam Ayan of Gateway Mastering donated their mastering services. The album cover illustration is by Grammy Award winning artist Mick Haggerty. Eight tracks were produced or executive produced by Martin Lewis, who as co-creator/producer in the 1970s of Amnesty’s ongoing “Secret Policeman’s Ball” benefit series, instigated Amnesty’s outreach to rock musicians by recruiting and producing Pete Townshend, Sting, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Bob Geldof and others. Executive Producers for Amnesty International are Helen Garrett, director of special projects, and Karen Scott, manager of music relations.

Through Chimes of Freedom, Amnesty International seeks to enlist support for its fight against censorship and attacks on free speech – whether involving artists, writers, musicians, political activists or bloggers. In this campaign, Amnesty is fighting for people such as the imprisoned Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo in China, a scholar and human rights defender imprisoned since 2009 for writing about corruption and criticizing China’s political system.  In addition to purchasing the album at www.amnestyusa.org/chimes, supporters will find actions they can take to help individuals whose freedom of expression is under threat.

Joe Ely given 2007 AMA Lifetime Achievement Award

The Americana Music Association announced the recipient of the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award for Performing during a magical night where industry members and fans of the genre gathered to listen to and celebrate the musical legacy of past honoree Levon Helm. 

The AMA brought the legendary Helm to town for the “Ramble at the Ryman” Wednesday night, July 18th, his first “Ramble” outside of the New York area.  Before he performed AMA Executive Director Jed Hilly took to the stage of the Ryman Auditorium to formally recognize Helm for his achievement in 2003 and announce this year’s 2007 recipient in the same category. 

“Four years ago Levon received the Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for Performing, but due to personal health reasons was unable to come to Nashville, said Hilly.  “How honored are we that the man many people call the godfather of the Americana Roots Music movement is honoring us with his performance here tonight.”   

Hilly then went on to announce that the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award for Performing award is being given to Joe Ely.  “Ely’s live shows have become legendary, and throughout his genre -crossing career, he has performed with Bruce Springsteen, Los Super Seven, and James McMurtry, The Clash and more recent acoustic tours with Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, and Guy Clark.”  Ely is also nominated for the Americana Music Association’s Artist of the Year.

The presentation will be made to Ely November 1st at the historic Ryman Auditorium during the 6th Annual Americana Music Association’s Honors and Awards Show as part of the AMA’s annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee.  In addition the association will present the Lifetime Achievement Awards for Songwriter, Instrumentalist, Producer/Engineer, Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award, The Presidents Award and the Jack Emerson Executive Award.   Recipients in these categories will be announced between now and October.   During the November Awards ceremony the association will reveal its member voted winners for works released during the 12 month eligibility period from June 1, 2006 through May 31, 2007.  Those nominees include: 


Album of the Year

·        Emotionalism -The Avett Brothers (Ramseur)

·        Modern Times – Bob Dylan (Columbia)

·        West – Lucinda Williams (Lost Highway)

·        Children Running Through – Patty Griffin (ATO)


Artist of the Year

·        Joe Ely

·        Lucinda Williams

·        Patty Griffin

·        Todd Snider



·        Buddy Miller

·        Gurf Morlix

·        Sam Bush

·        Will Kimbrough


New and Emerging Artist

·        Amy LaVere

·        The Avett Brothers

·        Sunny Sweeney

·        Uncle Earl


Song of the Year

·         "Hank Williams’ Ghost" by Darrell Scott; appears on Invisible Man (Full Light Records) Publishers: Chuck Wagon Gourmet Music, Famous Music Corp

·         "Sometimes It Takes Balls to be a Woman" by Elizabeth Cook and Melinda Schneider; appears on Balls (31 Tigers) Publishers:  Elizabeth Cook Music, Royal Notes Music, NewMel Music

·         "Are You Alright?"  by Lucinda Williams; appears on West written (Lost Highway) Publishers: Warner Tamerlane Publishing Corp., Lucy Jones Music

·         "Heavenly Day" by Patty Griffin; appears on Children Running Through (ATO) Publishers: ALMO Music Corp, One Big Love Music


Duo/Group of the Year

·        The Avett Brothers

·        The Duhks

·        The Hacienda Brothers

·        Old Crow Medicine Show

·        Son Volt