Mumford & Sons have returned from the Memorial Day weekend with a handful of new tour dates -- and a tentative release date for their highly anticipated sophomore album.
First, the confirmed news: the British folk rockers have plotted a series of "Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers" in the U.S. this August, visiting four cities in four weekends beginning Aug. 4 in Portland, Maine. According to a press release, the one-day events will combine "local vendors and activities," not-too-steep ticket prices ($69 with no additional fees) and a headlining set from Mumford & Sons, with a different lineup of supporting at each site. Participating artists include St. Vincent, Gogol Bordello and Dawes.
"The Gentlemen of the Road Stopover is based loosely upon our favorite festivals like Colorado's Telluride Bluegrass and Scotland's Loopallu Festivals," the band says in a statement. "We want to stop off in towns where bands don't usually tour, and celebrate the local people, food and music." In April 2011, the group embarked on a similarly unorthodox trek dubbed the 'Railroad Revival' tour, in which the band and its cohorts traveled via rustic railroad.
But will the Mumfords finally have some new material to trot on its Gentlemen of the Road tour? In an interview with Belgian radio station Studio Brussel at the Pinkpop Festival this weekend (via Rolling Stone), multi-instrumentalist Ben Lovett declared, "We finished the record this week, so we are gonna be able to get it out in September. We just figured that out - September 24th."
A Sept. 24 release date has yet to be officially announced, and a rep for the band tells Billboard.com, "It could be the date, but I think [Lovett] said that a bit prematurely."
Earlier this month, Lovett said the follow-up to 2009's "Sigh No More" was finished, but that "if we listen back while we're mixing and discover it's shit, we'll just start again. We're not going to put it out until it's good enough." At the Grammys last February, frontman Marcus Mumford told Billboard that the new album would hit stores "hopefully this year."
Here are the dates and details for Mumford & Sons' Gentlemen of the Road stopovers:
Aug. 4: Gentlemen of the Road Stopover In Portland, ME (The Eastern Promenade) - Mumford & Sons + St. Vincent, Dawes, The Maccabees, Apache Relay, Simone Felice, Haim
Aug. 11: Gentlemen of the Road Stopover In Bristol, VA/TN (Off State Street in Downtown Bristol) - Mumford & Sons + Dawes, JEFF The Brotherhood, The Very Best, Justin Townes Earle, Apache Relay, Simone Felice, Haim
Aug. 18: Gentlemen of the Road Stopover In Dixon, IL (Page Park) - Mumford & Sons + Gogol Bordello, Dawes, Abigail Washburn, The Very Best, Apache Relay, Haim
Aug. 25: Gentlemen of the Road Stopover In Monterey, CA (Monterey County Fairgrounds) - Mumford & Sons + Gogol Bordello, The Very Best, Grouplove, Two Gallants, Apache Relay, Haim