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ARTISTS SIGN TO RECORD LABELS, MAN BITES DOG
Merle Haggard, Cowboy Mouth & Anthrax Change Partners
The music biz makes strange bedfellows.

Country music legend Merle Haggard has joined forces with punk-rocking Epitaph Records owner Brett Gurewitz as he works on a new album to be released this fall on the brand-new Anti Inc. label. The pairing came about when label President Andy Kaulkin learned that Haggard was available and interested in working with a rock label willing to be more aggressive and progressive in their approach to selling records. In his 40-year career, the Country Music Hall of Famer has recorded 38 #1 Country hits and still performs SRO shows around the world. Haggard will market space on his body for tattoo advertising as part of the deal.

Alt-country-rockers Cowboy Mouth, previously with MCA, have just signed with Atlantic affiliate Blackbird Records. Sr. VP Cathy Burke calls the band, "the hardest working band in show business, next to " Already a long-time touring success story, the group is looking to spread their appeal in multi-format radio with a new studio album due in the stores on July 11. Their debut single, "Easy," hits radio in early June.

High speed metal thrashmasters Anthrax said goodbye to Concrete Management with the amicable blessing of company head Walter O'Brien and are now infesting Doug Goldstein's Big FD Entertainment, joining what's left of Guns N'Roses, the Grammy-winning Chris Perez Band and Jack Off Jill. "We've been kicking ass separately for the last 15 years," says Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, "and now we can unite and fight the common enemy—the music business." Of course, Ian was reminded the music business has officially been disbanded since 1998, but maybe the band's brand of biological warfare will turn the trick with a 48-city metal tour tagged Maximum Rock 2000. Joining them in the killer assault will be Motley Crue and Megadeth.

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