Billboard Bits: Godsmack/Criss Angel, Tritt, World Party

News on Godsmack/Criss Angel, Tritt, World Party

Godsmack's Sully Erna and illusionist Criss Angel are working on a new trick. The two have taken the theme song from Angel's popular A&E series, "Mindfreak," and are reworking it for Angel's forthcoming Koch Records album. "The theme song was more electronic, more Ministry, and Criss wanted to make it more power and rock," Erna tells Billboard.

Erna has brought in guitar wiz Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme) to play on the track and has plans to appear on "Mindfreak" during the new season, which debuts May 31.

Godsmack's new album, "IV," is due Tuesday (April 25) via Universal. First single "Speak" is No. 1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart for a fifth week in a row.

-- Melinda Newman, N.Y.

Musician/producer Randy Jackson, who has become better known as an "American Idol" judge, will co-produce the next Travis Tritt album with the country star. Early next year, the pair will begin recording a project tentatively due in summer 2007.

As previously reported, Tritt signed on earlier this year with Nashville startup Category 5 Records, where he is the indie label's flagship artist. Tritt's manager, Duke Cooper, says the new CD will be more country rock than country, with an Allman Brothers/Stevie Ray Vaughan influence.

Meanwhile, Tritt and R&B legend Sam Moore recorded a duet of Ray Charles' "Riding Thumb" for Moore's upcoming duets album on Rhino.

-- Phyllis Stark, Nashville

Karl Wallinger and his group World Party will embark on their first U.S. tour in seven years starting May 18 in Birmingham, Ala. Wallinger tested the waters in March at a packed show at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

The 13-city first leg of the tour coincides with the May 2 rerelease of 2002's "Dumbing Up" on Wallinger's own Fontana-distributed Seaview Records. The album contains two new tracks, including "What Does It Mean Now," which is climbing the Triple-A chart. Wallinger is already working on material for another album.

-- Melinda Newman, N.Y.