After an 11-year hiatus, Lilith Fair, the groundbreaking festival that celebrates women in music, is back for a 36-city North American summer tour. The festival boasts an impressive rotating slate of 80 acts from which 11 will be assembled for each show. Only one act is performing at every stop: Lilith co-founder Sarah McLachlan is headlining the tour to promote “Laws Of Illusion,” her first new studio album in seven years.

Between 1997 and 1999, Lilith Fair drew over two million fans and raised more than $7 million for charitable causes. The 2010 incarnation is scheduled to hit Raleigh’s Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek on Aug. 4 and Charlotte’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on Aug. 6.

The shows will be can’t-miss events with scheduled sets from Kelly Clarkson, Indigo Girls and my new musical obsession, Janelle Monae. Also on the bill in Raleigh will be Erykah Badu, while Charlotte gets Jill Scott. Tickets for both stops are on sale now, available online and at the venue box offices.

In a promo interview, McLachlan observed, “This summer is gonna be full on and fun.” Clearly, she’s at peace after a long period of personal upheaval. Between the release of “Laws Of Illusion” and 2003’s “Afterglow,” she’s been married, separated and constantly devoted to raising two young daughters. Rather than wallowing in the debris of her crumbled relationship, “Illusion” is a post-break-up record that celebrates the light at the end of the tunnel.

The singer explained to, “My marriage collapsed a couple of years ago, and it was a long, dark road. …Finally coming through that knowing that life is going to be okay, life will go on and that there’s actually a possibility of love happening again is…just deliriously heady stuff.”

“Laws Of Illusion” is out now on Arista Records. Copies are available at White Rabbit.

Sound bytes

Melissa Etheridge brings her “Fearless Love” tour to Charlotte’s Ovens Auditorium for a July 22 performance and to the Durham Performing Arts Center on July 26. The groundbreaking gay icon is promoting the release of her latest album of the same name. Tickets are available now.

Cyndi Lauper has issued her 11th studio album, “Memphis Blues.” The set was recorded this past March in Memphis with guest appearances by B.B. King, Jonny Lang, Allen Toussaint, Ann Peebles and Charlie Musselwhite.

Regional artist Amy Broome has issued “Let It Get You,” a 10-track CD that she’s promoting with a flurry of performances in and around the Charlotte metro area. For details on dates and venues, visit her website, : :


David Stout

David Stout is the associate editor of QNotes. He can be reached at