Billboard Bits: Belew, Kitaro, Waters

Stories on Adrian Belew, Kitaro and Heather Waters.

ABAdrian Belew has set Jan. 25 as the release date for his latest solo album, "Side One" (Sanctuary). The nine-track set was recorded with Primus leader/bassist Les Claypool and Tool drummer Danny Carey.

"'Side One' deals with the concept of the power trio and writing in that headspace," says Belew, who is a member of King Crimson and has played with everyone from David Bowie and Frank Zappa to Trent Reznor and David Byrne. "As the guitar player in that equation, you're only as good as your rhythm section and I can't imagine a better rhythm section than Les Claypool and Danny Carey."

Two more albums from the sessions -- "Side Two" and "Side Three" -- are completed, although no release dates are yet confirmed. A trio tour is being planned for 2005, as is the fourth studio album from another Belew project, the Bears.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

kitaro Progressive composer/new age artist Kitaro will release "Sacred Journey of Ku-kai: Vol. 2" Feb. 22 via Domo Records, but the set is already exclusively available for download through Apple's iTunes music store. The album and its 2003 predecessor are inspired by the events of 9/11, which caused the artist's Los Angeles to Japan flight to be diverted to Hawaii, where he conceived a global unification musical project during a five-day layover there.

Dedicated to peace, the albums' titles refer to a Buddhist pilgrimage to 88 temples on Shikoku, one of Japan's four main islands, which symbolically recapitulates the career of the Buddhist saint Ku-kai (774-835) from birth to enlightenment. Each track in the series includes samples of ancient Japanese temple bells and Kitaro's interpretations of the sounds.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

HWGillian Welch, David Rawlings and Wallflowers keyboardist Rami Jaffee are among the guests on "Shadow of You," the full-length debut from up-and-coming Americana artist Heather Waters. Along with performing on "Apalachicola," Welch also wrote and appears on "You Just Don't Love Me" and wrote another of the album's tracks. "Josephine," one of two cuts featuring Jaffee, can be sampled on Waters' site.

The Redd Fogg Records set, which is currently available through the Waters'
official Web site, also features bassist/producer Sheldon Gomberg (Rusty Truck), guitarist Eric Heywood (Son Volt), drummer Craig Macintyre (Josh Groban), pedal steel/guitarist Greg Leisz, drummer Don Heffington (Jayhawks, Lone Justice) and guitarist David Kalish (Rickie Lee Jones).

Waters has a handful of performances set for the New Year, including a Jan. 11 show in Santa Monica, Calif., and a Jan. 25 date in Los Angeles. An East Coast and Midwest tour is being planned for spring.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.


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