- Jeff Beck, newly inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is on tour right now. The first date was last night in Scranton, Pa., and he's set to visit Philadelphia's Electric Factory tomorrow and New York's Irving Plaza the next couple of nights. From there, he's off to New England, the Midwest and California, before a U.K. tour in June and July, with some Canadian dates and a short European tour rounding out that month.
As for a rumor reported today by Boston Herald's Inside Track that says Jimmy Page may join Beck "on tour later this year," it's not a rumor I could find anywhere else recently. Of course, we did hear back in July 2007 another reported rumor -- that time courtesy of Rolling Stone magazine and others -- that Page and Beck were going to join up with the already-touring original Yardbirds members Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty, and that hasn't happened.
But you never know if Jimmy Page might show up at Jeff Beck's concerts. Check out those tour dates here and decide for yourself.
- Sara Watkins just released an album produced by John Paul Jones, and she'll soon be out on tour. It looks like she's booked to open for Old Crow Medicine Show for a few dates in the South, starting this Thursday. She's supposed to play on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" next Monday night and then head to Minneapolis for shows on April 15-16 that kick off her first-ever headlining tour.
Jones will not be a regular in the touring lineup although he is scheduled to appear with her on Monday's TV spot, which will tape in New York. Jones is committed to being in New York to perform with Sonic Youth on April 16-19, during Watkins's headlining shows in Minneapolis, Naperville, Ill., and Nashville. But if Jones sticks around in New York for just a few days more, he would still be around when Watkins performs at the Mercy Lounge on April 22. This may be the best chance of Jones sitting in during the tour, but you can view all the tour dates here and decide for yourself.
- But it probably doesn't bother Elvis Costello when his former bandmates find new things to do. He has a new band now called the Sugarcanes, and he'll be using them on a dozen or so tour dates this June and August. The band includes Stuart Duncan on fiddle and banjo and Dennis Crouch on bass; both toured last year with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Also in Costello's Sugarcanes lineup is Jerry Douglas, who's a member of Krauss's Union Station. They'll be supporting Costello's June album release, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane, which (also like Plant and Krauss's Raising Sand) is produced by T Bone Burnett and features him on electric guitar.
- There was speculation late last year of a new studio project by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss leading them to some tour dates this year. However, nothing more currently appears on the horizon. Heck, there hasn't been any indication that any recordings proceeded beyond the "pre-production" stage as Krauss pronounced it. No word even if Krauss will be out at all this year.
And whatever happened to Plant's band the Strange Sensation? I always thought it would be natural for him to return to that group once he was done with Krauss. That's the group that helped him record the albums Dreamland and Mighty ReArranger, and he went out on tour with them several times between 2001 and 2007, right up until Raising Sand was released. All throughout Plant's association with Krauss, the front page of his official Web site had a link to biographies of his band members, who were listed as the guys in the Strange Sensation. But last week, his site was redesigned for the first time in four years, and the Strange Sensation stuff has disappeared.
- Tour dates for Foreigner continue without Jason Bonham on drums anymore. They've had Bryan Head on drums ever since Bonham's departure last summer, which he explained at the time he was doing so he could rest up with his family in the event he was suddenly called into action by Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. Foreigner's out playing all the time and currently has shows booked through October.
- The surviving members of former Swan Song recording artist Bad Company have reunited again and will be playing 10 shows in late June and early July. I'm a fan of the fact that this band's first reunion of the original lineup reunited in honor of Peter Grant, their manager and Led Zeppelin's, after his 1995 funeral. They played a show last year, and they're returning to the same venue to kick off their limited tour and sell a DVD of the 2008 appearance.
Perhaps it's a plan the Led Zeppelin members ought to consider since they have a DVD to release and seemingly don't have very much else to do in the near future.