Critical darlings the Waterboys have signed with U.S. independent label Razor & Tie for domestic release of the Mike Scott-led band's latest album, "A Rock in the Weary Land." Released last year i

Critical darlings the Waterboys have signed with U.S. independent label Razor & Tie for domestic release of the Mike Scott-led band's latest album, "A Rock in the Weary Land." Released last year in Europe by RCA, the first Waterboys album in more than seven years will finally see the light of day Aug. 21 on these shores.

"A Rock in the Weary Land" reunites Scott with co-founding Waterboys multi-instrumentalist Anthony Thistlewaite, who contributes electric slide mandolin to two tracks. Thistlewaite exited the band following 1990's "Room to Roam," after which Scott released one only more album, 1993's "Dream Harder," under the Waterboys moniker. He followed that with a pair of solo albums, "Bring 'Em All In" in 1995, and "Still Burning" two years later.

Also guesting on the new album is fiddler Steve Wickham, who appeared on "Room to Roam," as well as its predecessor, 1988's "Fisherman's Blues." Rounding out the line-up for the set are keyboard players Thighpaulsandra and Richard Naiff, drummers Jeremy Stacey and Paul Beavis, bassists Livingston Brown, Mark Smith, and Cameron Miller, jazz saxophonist Gilad Atzmon, and the London Community Gospel Choir.

The U.S. release of "Rock" boasts a different running order and features two bonus tracks not on the European version of the album -- "Lucky Day/Bad Advice" and "My Lord, What a Morning." The latter song was previously available on the U.K. release of the Waterboys' "Is She Conscious" EP.

In other news, RCA has set a Sept. 10 European release for "Too Close to Heaven," an album of newly completed Waterboys tracks from the 1986-87 "Fisherman's Blues" sessions. Of the album's 10 tracks, eight are originals, while "A Home in the Meadow" is a take on a song from the film "How the West Was Won," and "On My Way to Heaven" is a gospel standard. Rounded out with liner notes by Scott describing the sessions, the package will also feature many previously unseen photographs taken during the period.

Taking the name from the Lou Reed song "Kids," Scott founded the Waterboys in the early '80s in London. Following a stable early line-up, Scott has since surrounded himself with an ever-changing group of musicians, including future World Party principal Karl Wallinger. The full (and lengthy) list of the band's past members is posted on Scott's official Waterboys Web site.

Scott has European dates with the band's current line-up scheduled through the summer, including an appearance tomorrow (June 14) at the City Festival in Abrantes, Portugal, and Saturday at the Fleadh Festival in London. A U.S. tour in support of "Rock" is being planned for the fall, as is a European tour in support of "Heaven," during which it is hoped that Thistlewaite will join for several performances.

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