X frontman John Doe will release his first album in two years, and first all-acoustic effort, Aug. 20 via iMusic. The set, dubbed "Dim Stars, Bright Light," finds Doe collaborating with such vocalists

X frontman John Doe will release his first album in two years, and first all-acoustic effort, Aug. 20 via iMusic. The set, dubbed "Dim Stars, Bright Light," finds Doe collaborating with such vocalists as the Wallflowers' Jakob Dylan, Aimee Mann, the Go-Go's' Jane Wiedlin, Juliana Hatfield, and Old 97's' Rhett Miller.

Doe still divides his time between X and country offshoot the Knitters, which also features the Blasters' Dave Alvin, but is trying to distance himself from his former solo project the John Doe Thing. "Dim Stars, Bright Lights" is said to possess a quieter, more orchestrated feel, utilizing piano, mandolin, and organ to flesh out the elaborate arrangements.

"The misconception about my solo work is that it's alt-country," Doe says in a statement. "I suppose this album is closest to that incorrect idea, but for me it's more Elliott Smith than Gram Parsons."

"Dim Stars, Bright Lights" was produced by Doe and singer/songwriter Joe Henry, and was mixed by Dave Way (India.Arie). Backing Doe on the album are such longtime collaborators as guitarist Smokey Hormel (Beck, k.d. lang) and drummer Joey Waronker (Badly Drawn Boy, Elliott Smith). Other performers include keyboardist Jamie Muhoberac (Alanis Morissette, Iggy Pop), pedal-steel guitarist Ben Peeler (the Mavericks), bassists Dave Carpenter (Will Downing) and Dave Pilch (Joe Henry), and drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. (Paul McCartney).

The set will be one of the first retail releases from iMusic, an ArtistDirect subsidiary dedicated to established artists who lack a wide mainstream following. Other performers on the roster include Pharcyde rapper Tre, Arrested Development's Speech, and veteran new wave act Berlin.

Doe is expected to play a handful of dates in support of the album, and can also be seen this summer in the Jennifer Aniston movie "The Good Girl" and Karl T. Hisch's independent film "Media Whore." As previously reported, X will perform at this year's Hootenanny festival, set for July 5 in San Diego, July 6 in Los Angeles, and July 7 outside San Francisco. Also on the bill are Joe Strummer and Mescaleros, the Blasters, Rev. Horton Heat, Hank Williams III, and Nashville Pussy.

Here is the track listing for "Dim Stars, Bright Sky:"

"7 Holes"
"Closed of Dreams" (with Juliana Hatfield)
"Forever for You" (with Jane Wiedlin)
"This Far" (with Aimee Mann)
"Faraway (from the North Country)"
"Still You" (with Juliana Hatfield)
"Magic" (with Jakob Dylan)
"Backroom" (with Rhett Miller)
"Employee of the Month"
"Always"

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print