"Be My Guest"
Some message boards can become an archive of many years of fandom. That little old band from Texas, ZZ TOP, is celebrating 30 years of recording. Their board, named SCRAWL HERE, goes all the way back to 1999. That's a lot of fan mail! Meanwhile, look for the country style tribute album, Sharp Dressed Men: A Tribute To ZZ Top. While many of the stars involved are a little too reverential in their treatment of these classic songs, there are some interesting moments including the tracks by Dwight Yoakam, Willie Nelson and Hank Williams.
Golden Guitar winner REX DALLAS launched his latest album Sunrise Of The Outback at the 2002 CountryLink Hats Off To Country Festival in Tamworth. Find out more about the man from Wallerawang and check out The Gully Grub Barn at the new Rex Dallas Web site.
If you like your country with a slant towards the raw and honest side, check out the new E-zine COW PUNK QUARTERLY. While its writers Wat Tyler and Eddie Greenaway admit that the title is a bit misleading (being neither about the Cow Punk genre or indeed, quarterly) one quick worthwhile visit to the site will give you an insight into their alternative take on Australian country.
As BROOKS & DUNN cross America with their Neon Circus & Wild West Show that also includes Dwight Yoakam and Gary Allan, USA TODAY photographer Robert Deutsch has documented a day in the life of the show. You can view 27 of his images on the Web (be patient while the page loads!). Look out for photo number 10 that shows guitarist JAKE KELLY backstage, tuning up his Australian custom made Tomkins 'archtop' guitar.
The music of the band SPLIT LIP RAYFIELD has been described as "Appalachian Black Sabbath", but that shouldn't deter country fans. Their new album, Never Make it Home, does however infuse a great deal of energy and verve into their hillbilly and bluegrass style. If you're ready for it, find out more at Chicago's Bloodshot Records Web site or their local Australian label, the adventurous and challenging Laughing Outlaw Records.
Avoiding the Computer Virus
E-mail is still the most used application on the Internet and rightly so, but while you are enjoying the benefits, don't become complacent about the very real threat of your computer becoming infected by a virus. Some of the old rules no longer apply, in particular the theory that you can't catch a virus if you don't actually open an E-mail message. There are now viruses that will activate should they even appear in the preview pane of your E-mail program. It is also now possible (although rarer) to receive a virus when visiting a Web page.
The good news is that by following a few simple tips you can minimise, if not eliminate these threats:
If you want to share the location of an interesting site you've seen or request a topic for discussion in future columns, why not E-mail me.
© 2002 Bob Howe Productions - ShowNet