Sharp Notes September 09 2000

Mudcat, who just returned from a high-profile Lincoln Center date with fellow Georgia bluesman Cootie Stark, headed over to Lugano, Switzerland, for the Blues-to-Bop Fest Sept. 1-3. After their festival dates, they played at a private party for the mayor of Lugano. Too bad they won't be able to take advantage of the new air-conditioning system recently installed at their hometown hangout, the Northside Tavern.

Multi-talented R&B man Usher is preparing to hit the record racks and the big screen in the fall. He'll appear in Texas Rangers, a film about black cowboys of the 1800s. The new album titled It's All About You features production and music from big shots Jermaine Dupri, Babyface and She'kspere Briggs. Speaking of acting rappers, Lil' Zane, whose debut album Young World: The Future has just been released, is already on the fast track to a film career. He'll appear with Eddie Murphy in Doctor Doolittle 2, as well as with Sean Connery and Busta Rhymes in the film Finding Forrester, scheduled for a Christmas release.

Women's liberation, DJ style. DJ Shortee was invited to Toronto to host a clinic on turntablism for Take Back the Decks, an event intended to expose women to the male-dominated DJ scene. If you're female and have a hankering for spinning hip-hop you can get more information at www.gurl.com.

Handy woman. Local blues and R&B diva Trudy Lynn is polishing her nails and getting ready to hit the road in early November with a stellar lineup that includes Little Milton, Johnnie Johnson, Charlie Musselwhite, Duke Robillard and Joe Louis Walker for the W.C. Handy All-Star Tour. The bill, which showcases Handy Award winners and nominees, does not have an Atlanta date scheduled.