Less than a year after his last J album, Gavin DeGraw will release a new set of self-described low-key songs, "Free," on March 31.
"We kept the production very minimal in order to get everything that lies between me and the audience out of the way. By removing all the bells and whistles, you really make room for someone to pay attention to the songwriting," DeGraw says of "Free."
The 10-song album was recorded in two weeks in Brooklyn and produced by Camus Celli (Tina Turner, David Byrne). DeGraw is backed on "Free" by guitarist Audley Freed (Black Crowes), bassist Andy Hess (Gov't Mule), drummer Charley Drayton (X-Pensive Winos) and keyboardist George Laks (Lenny Kravitz).
The material on "Free" ranges from songs written early in DeGraw's career to tracks only finished in the studio. DeGraw also puts his own spin on "Indian Summer" by the late Chris Whitley.
The New York-based songwriter starts a North American tour March 27 at the Aladdin Theatre in Portland, Ore. The intimate stint, dubbed the Where It Began tour, will take "a similar approach to the live shows as we did on the album," DeGraw says.
DeGraw is also scheduled to perform at Ft. Myers High School Stadium in Ft. Myers, Fla. on Saturday (Feb. 21).
Here are the Where It Began tour dates:
March 27: Portland, Ore. (Aladdin Theater)
March 28: Seattle (The Tractor)
March 31: San Francisco (Great American Music Hall)
April 1: Los Angeles (El Rey)
April 2: San Diego (Soma)
April 4: Detroit (Public Concert Stage)
April 5: Scottsdale, Ariz. (Martini Ranch)
April 6: Albuquerque, N.M. (Launchpad)
April 8: Austin, Texas (The Parish)
April 9: Dallas (The Loft)
April 10: Houston (House of Blues)
April 11: Oklahoma City (Diamond Ballroom)
April 13: Columbia, Mo. (The Blue Note)
April 15: Chicago (Park West)
April 16: Decatur, Ill. (Kirkland Fine Arts Center)
April 17: Columbus, Ohio (Newport Music Hall)
April 19: Manchester, N.H. (Southern New Hampshire University)
April 20: New York (Highline Ballroom)
April 21: Harrisburg, Pa. (Whitaker Center)
April 22: Philadelphia (Theatre of Living Arts)
April 24: Boston (Paradise Rock Club)
April 25: Reading, Pa. (Alvernia University)
April 26: Alexandria, Va. (Birchmere)
April 28: Richmond, Va. (The National)
April 29: Knoxville, Tenn. (The Square Room)
May 1: Louisville, Ky. (Kentucky Derby Festival)
May 3: Charlotte, N.C. (Neighborhood Theatre)
May 4: Nashville (Exit/In)
May 5: Atlanta (The Loft)
May 7: Jacksonville, Fla. (Jack Rabbits)
May 8: St. Petersburg, Fla. (State Theatre)