Pearl Jam's Gossard Completes Two Albums
Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard's solo debut album, "Bayleaf," is set for a Sept. 11 release by Epic. The first solo effort from a member of the veteran Seattle rock outfit finds Gossard singing leaPearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard's solo debut album, "Bayleaf," is set for a Sept. 11 release by Epic. The first solo effort from a member of the veteran Seattle rock outfit finds Gossard singing lead on seven of the 10 tracks, with former Green Apple Quick Step frontman Ty Willman singing the other three. "Without [Ty's] support, I'm not sure I would have finished the [record]," Gossard says in a statement. "I know it wouldn't be as good."
Gossard is backed on "Bayleaf" by singer/songwriter Pete Droge, who also produced the set, as well as former Pearl Jam drummer Matt Chamberlain, pianist Ron Weinstein, drummer Mike Stone, and bassist Guy Davis. The 40-minute album is named after the first song Gossard wrote for the project in early 1998.
In general, "Bayleaf" bears only passing similarities to the sound of Gossard's primary band, focusing instead on slower, less aggressive songs. Among the highlights are the slow-burning title track, the funky bounce of "Pigeon," the vaguely Pearl Jam-ish, Willman-sung first single "Unhand Me," and the soft-rocking closer "Fend It Off."
"I don't have any plans to tour," Gossard says. "It took me a long time to make this record. It may take me a long time before I feel 'ready' to tour as a lead singer. I may never be ready ... we'll just have to see."
In the meantime, Gossard has also completed work on the third album by Brad, which also features ex-Satchel singer/keyboardist Shawn Smith and drummer Regan Hagar. "It sounds really beautiful," Smith tells Billboard.com. A release date and label has yet to be finalized, but a spokesperson says the album may come out on Epic later this year.
As for Pearl Jam, the group has not played live since the conclusion of the world tour in support of the album "Binaural" last November. This fall, Pearl Jam will reconvene for Neil Young's 15th annual Bridge School Benefit concert in Mountainview, Calif., which it has previously played on four occasions.