Billboard Bits: Howie Day, DiFranco, Wayfaring Strangers

News on Howie Day, DiFranco, Wayfaring Strangers

HowieSinger/songwriter Howie Day will release his second album, "Stop All the World Now," Oct. 7 via Epic. Produced by Youth (The Verve, Crowded House), the 11-track collection was recorded in London. The first single will be "Perfect Time of Day," which was recently delivered to U.S. radio outlets for airplay consideration.

Although in the past he has toured accompanied only by a sampler/drum machine, Day employed a core band when recording the new album. Joining him on "Stop" is Jump Little Children guitarist/vocalist Jay Clifford, former Verve bassist Simon Jones, guitarist/keyboardist Les Hall and drummer Laurie Jenkins. The set also includes a 24-piece orchestra on four songs, one of which, "She Says," is a new version of a song that was featured on Day's debut, "Australia."

Day will play a handful of radio-station sponsored shows in September, prior to launching a North American tour Sept. 29 in Boston with a full band in tow. For more information, visit his official Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

AniSinger/songwriter Ani DiFranco has joined the bill for Willie Nelson's Sept. 6 concert to benefit the presidential campaign of Democratic Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Tickets for the show at Cleveland's State Theatre are available through the campaign's
Web site.

"Ani DiFranco and Willie Nelson are both socially-engaged artists and it's an honor to have their help in this campaign," Kucinich says in a statement.

As previously reported, Nelson has been vocal in his support of Kucinich, and will perform on the U.S. Labor Day holiday (Sept. 1) in Des Moines, Iowa, at another campaign benefit. Details of a third concert are not yet finalized.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

WayThe Wayfaring Strangers will release their sophomore album, "This Train," Sept. 16 via Rounder Records. Combining influences from bluegrass to jazz to gospel, the group turned heads with its 2001 debut, "Shifting Sands of Time."

Berklee College of Music string department head Matt Glaser leads the group. It also includes vocalists Tracy Bonham, Ruth Ungar and Aoife O'Donovan, Tony Trischka on banjo, pianist Laszlo Gardony, percussionist Jamey Haddad, John McGann on mandolin and guitar and bassist Jim Whitney.

The eclectic group has a handful of live dates on tap through the end of the year in Hamilton, Ohio (Sept. 13), Atlanta (Oct. 24), Hanover, N.H. (Nov. 14), Somerville, Mass. (Nov. 15) and Philadelphia (Dec. 19).

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.