Strummer Readies New Album With Mescaleros
Ex-Clash leader Joe Strummer will release the follow-up to 1999's "Rock Art and the X-Ray Style" July 24 via Hellcat Records, an offshoot of Epitaph run by Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong. It's StrummerEx-Clash leader Joe Strummer will release the follow-up to 1999's "Rock Art and the X-Ray Style" July 24 via Hellcat Records, an offshoot of Epitaph run by Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong. It's Strummer's second album with the Mescaleros, and third since the Clash officially disbanded in 1986. The artist will tour this fall, but has already confirmed an Aug. 4 date at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, supporting the Brian Setzer Orchestra.
Strummer and the Mescaleros previewed new songs late last year during support dates with the Who, including "Bhindi Bhagee," "Bummed Out City," "Gamma Ray," and "Minstrel Boy." The latter is an interpretation of a traditional Irish folk song, while "Gamma Ray" and "Bummed Out City" found the Mescaleros adding some Pogues-like textures to their Caribbean-influenced songs. Says a source at Epitaph, "The global influence [on the new album] be-bops back and forth across all borders."
Other tracks on the album include "Johnny Appleseed," "Cool n' Out," "Mondo Bongo," "Shakt ar Donetsk," "At the Border, Guy" and "Mega Bottle Ride."
When one Clash principal starts working, the other appears to go quiet. For years, it was Jones who remained active, releasing a steady stream of records throughout the '80s and early '90s with various incarnations of Big Audio Dynamite. Aside from 1989's poorly received "Earthquake Weather" (Epic) album and the odd soundtrack or compilation cut, Strummer was relatively unheard from during that period.
But in recent years he has toured constantly, swallowing up an abundance of world music influences hin is work with the Mescaleros. Jones has been relatively silent since Radioactive released Big Audio Dynamite's "P-Funk" in 1995; he parted ways with the label the following year. The band has a finished album in the can, but it appears increasingly unlikely that it will ever be released. Jones has resigned himself to posting MP3 files of the unreleased dance/rock tracks on the official Big Audio Dynamite Web site.