Sound Check: Lit, Gillian Welch

WOMAN OF CONSTANT SORROW: Gillian Welch, the woman behind much of the successful bluegrass soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou?, is launching her own label, Acony Records, with collaborator David Rawlings. The first two releases, due June 11, will be reissues of 1996's Revival and 1998's Hell Among the Yearlings, but Welch, with production from Rawlings, has also been working on a new, still-untitled album, which is due in late summer.

RE-LIT: Rock act Lit entered a studio this week to begin recording its third album, with the aim of recording it in six weeks and releasing it by late summer on the band's own imprint, Dirty Martini, along with RCA Records. Dirty Martini is also planning to release a single from Handsome Devil next month, with an album following on Aug. 8.

RINGO RETROSPECTIVE: A three-disc box set collecting 47 live songs from Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band will be released July 10 from Koch Progressive. The Anthology … So Far includes an array of classic rockers, including Joe Walsh, Rick Danko, Dr. John, Todd Rundgren, Peter Frampton, and more.

ATO NO. 2: For his seventh album, singer-songwriter Chris Whitley has signed to the Dave Matthews-founded According to Our Records. The label catapulted its first signing, David Gray, into mainstream success. Whitley takes his shot with Rocket House, an elaborate 11-song production with help from Bruce Hornsby, DJ Logic, and Luscious Jackson producer Tony Mangurian.

NOT SO HARD: The Soft Boys hadn't worked together since recording little-known but influential albums such as 1980's Underwater Moonlight. Following a re-release of that classic album this year on Matador Records, the group mounted a reunion tour and is now headed back to the studio to test the waters for a new album, according to Matador.

MICK'S MAGIC: Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger spent some time in a Los Angeles studio with guitarist Keith Richards, according to British tabloid The Sun. The band is reportedly thinking about cutting a new album to coincide with another tour by the classic rockers next year.

BIG MAC: Superchunk is doing the final mixing on a still-untitled eighth album, which the band plans to release on Sept. 18, according to Billboard. Frontman Mac McCaughan is also releasing an album, Looking for Leonard, with side project Portastatic on Tuesday, and he's planning to join Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices for an album in the Fading Captain series.

GUEST LIST: A long list of contributors will be joining in the fun on the upcoming Los Straitjackets LP, tentatively titled Sing-a-Long. Sixpence None the Richer singer Leigh Nash, Nick Lowe, Mark Lindsay, Mike Campbell, X's Exene Cervenka, and Mavericks singer Raul Malo will all add to the disc, which is set for a Sept. 25 release through Yep Roc Records.

GUITARIST AND BOSS: Hardcore punk band Bad Religion has reunited with longtime guitarist Brett Gurewitz and will cut an album for his label, Epitaph Records. The band, which completed its five-album contract with Atlantic, is currently writing in Los Angeles and has about 16 songs but is also looking for a new drummer after Bobby Schayer dropped out with shoulder problems.

SPARKLEY: Female pop star Mariah Carey will deliver her first album for Virgin Records on August 21after leaving longtime label Columbia Records. The album, Glitter, will be along the lines of Prince's Purple Rain, serving as both a solo album and a soundtrack for feature film All That Glitters. Its first single will be "Lover Boy," featuring Da Brat, and will hit radio June 25, according to Virgin.

For a comprehensive list of CDs due in the next few weeks, check Wall of Sound's Release Dates.

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