Primus bassist/vocalist Les Claypool brings forth a new solo album, "Of Whales and Woe," this week via his own Prawn Song label. The follow-up to 2002's "Purple Onion" was recorded in Claypool's home

Primus bassist/vocalist Les Claypool brings forth a new solo album, "Of Whales and Woe," this week via his own Prawn Song label. The follow-up to 2002's "Purple Onion" was recorded in Claypool's home studio and features contributions from percussionist Mike Dillon, saxophonist Skerik and Gabby La La on sitar.

Album opener "Back Off Turkey" finds Claypool's two pre-teen children "banging on a bunch of crap," he says. "They were all excited about being recorded." The usually experimental Claypool even offers a straight-up tribute to his wife on "Iowan Gal," which is played on a custom-made bass in the shape of a banjo.

"There's no finger-tapping," Claypool says of his bass approach on the album. "It's me slapping away with some drums. It's pretty heavily groove oriented. There's a sort of dark creepiness to it, but lyrically there are a lot of folky elements. It's almost like Morphine meets old Isley Brothers with some bastardized version of Woody Guthrie."

The artist will hit the road in June in support of "Whale," backed by Dillon, Skerik and drummer Paulo Baldi.

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