- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Paisley, Womack on top

Brad Paisley and Lee Ann Womack led the nominees for the Country Music Association Awards announced yesterday, snaring six apiece, including single of the year for their hits “Alcohol” and “I May Hate Myself in the Morning,” respectively.

Other multiple nominees were Keith Urban and Toby Keith, who had four each. Gretchen Wilson, Sugarland, Rascal Flatts and George Strait each had three, Associated Press reports.

Miss Womack was nominated for single and music video of the year for “I May Hate Myself in the Morning,” album of the year, female vocalist of the year, and also got two nominations for musical event of the year for her duets with George Strait and Willie Nelson.

Mr. Paisley, whose latest album is “Time Well Wasted,” was nominated for entertainer of the year, single, song and musical video of the year (for “Alcohol”), male vocalist of the year and musical event of the year with Sara Evans for “New Again.”

Other nominees for entertainer of the year were Mr. Urban, Mr. Keith, Kenny Chesney and Alan Jackson.

The awards will be presented at New York’s Madison Square Garden for the first time on Nov. 15 and will air live on CBS.

Jury: Rod must pay

A federal jury yesterday decided that Rod Stewart should pay a Las Vegas casino $2 million plus interest for a canceled show in December 2000.

The seven-member jury unanimously decided that the 60-year-old rock star should not have kept an advance he was paid for the show at the Rio Hotel Casino, reports Associated Press.

Mr. Stewart, who was not in U.S. District Court when the verdict was reached, had said he was unable to perform because of throat surgery several months earlier. One of his lawyers, Kerry Garvis Wright, says Mr. Stewart will appeal.

Steve Morris, a lawyer for the Rio Hotel Casino and its parent company, Harrah’s Entertainment, said he was “delighted and relieved” by the verdict.

Right place, bad time

Legendary bluesman Dr. John, one of New Orleans’ most iconic natives, has reiterated his love for the city and urged people to donate to relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

“If anybody in the government would’ve done something about the disappearing wetlands for the past 50 years, then this probably wouldn’t have been as bad,” Associated Press quoted the boogie-woogie pianist as saying.

“It makes me think of what my friend Rev. Goat [Carson] just told me, ‘Let me say this before it goes any further, New Orleans didn’t die of natural causes, she was murdered.’”

The 64-year-old musician, whose real name is Malcolm Rebennack, was born and raised in New Orleans. His unique combination of R&B;, blues and rock ‘n’ roll — which he dubbed “voodoo” music — has long been emblematic of the diverse, hodgepodge city.

Famous for performing in full Mardi Gras costume, Dr. John’s albums include “Gumbo,” “Gris-gris” and last year’s “N’Awlinz: Dis, Dat or d’Udda.”

Carrying on

The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts will join Blues Alley for a benefit tribute to the late DC jazz legend Keter Betts, tonight at the tony Georgetown jazz supper club, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

Proceeds from the event, beginning at 8 p.m., will support the Keter Betts Trio and their commitment to continuing free jazz performances for preschoolers, their teachers and families at the Center for Education at Wolf Trap in Vienna.

Mr. Betts — a jazz bassist who played with Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington among other greats, and a founding artist of the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts — died last month of an undetermined cause at his home in Silver Spring. He was 77.

A few of the many artists expected to attend tonight’s tribute include vocalist Ethel Ennis, pianist/vocalist John Eaton, drummer Harold Mann (who frequently worked with Mr. Betts) and Robert Redd, Mr. Betts’ pianist for 15 years.

Further details may be obtained on line at www.blues alley.com or by calling 202/337-4141.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports.

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