Billboard Bits: Les Claypool, Ron Sexsmith, Starsailor

News on Les Claypool's Frog Brigade, Ron Sexsmith, and Starsailor.

Les ClaypoolPrimus bassist/vocalist Les Claypool is taking his new band, the Frog Brigade, out on the road this summer for a series of dates with ex-Grateful Dead principal Phil Lesh. The trek comes in support of the Frog Brigade's debut album, "Live Frogs - Set 1" (Prawn Song). The second offering from the group, "Live Frogs - Set 2," is a live performance of Pink Floyd's "Animals" album which will see commercial release July 24.

Claypool spent all of April at Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio's Vermont farm, recording the debut album of Oysterhead, a collaborative project involving Claypool, Anastasio, and former Police drummer Stewart Copeland. The set is due for release this fall on Elektra.

Here are Les Claypool's Frog Brigade's tour dates:
June 16: Pt. Orford, Ore. (Family-A-Faire)
June 29: Red Hook, N.Y. (Gathering of the Vibes)
July 1: Berkeley, Calif. (Greek Theatre / with Phil Lesh)
July 6: Morrison, Colo. (Red Rocks Amphitheater / with Phil Lesh)
July 13: Somerset, Wis. (Float-Rite Park / with Phil Lesh)
July 14: East Troy, Wis. (Alpine Valley / with Phil Lesh)
July 24: Rochester, N.Y. (Finger Lakes Amphitheater / with Phil Lesh)
July 27: Holmdel, N.J. (PNC Bank Center / with Phil Lesh)
July 31: Columbia, Md. (Merriweather Post Pavilion / with Phil Lesh)

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.

Ron SexsmithCanadian singer/songwriter Ron Sexsmith will on June 5 release his latest album, "Blue Boy." The set is the artist's first for the independent spin ART label after releasing three albums through Interscope. Produced by country rock musicians Steve Earle and Ray Kennedy, "Blue Boy" was recorded last year in Nashville over the course of just six days.

Sexsmith will on June 11 kick off a month of U.S. tour dates in support of the set with a show at New York's Bowery Ballroom. Prior to that run, he will play Saturday (May 12) at the Greenbank (Ontario) Folk Society.

In other news, Sexsmith has recorded the title track for "This Is Where I Belong: The Songs of Ray Davies & the Kinks." The tribute -- which also features Wilco, Yo La Tengo, Matthew Sweet, Jonathan Richman, Queens of the Stone Age, Fastball, Bebel Gilberto, Fountains of Wayne, and Steve Forbert -- is due in August via the Nashville-based Praxis label.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

StarsailorStarsailor, one of the U.K.'s most promising new acts, has been added to Dido and Travis' upcoming North American tour. The night before a June 27 show with those groups at Jones Beach in Wantagh, N.Y., Starsailor will open for fellow U.K. rock act Doves at Irving Plaza in New York.

Signed to Chrysalis/EMI in the U.K., Starsailor released its debut EP, "Fever" in February. The band's most recent single, "Good Souls," debuted at No. 12 on the U.K. singles chart last month.

Here are Starsailor's tour dates:
June 20: Atlanta (Lakewood Amphitheater)
June 22: Columbia, Md. (Merriweather Post Pavilion)
June 24: Boston (Tweeter Center)
June 25: Holmdel, N.J. (PNC Bank Arts Center)
June 26: New York (Irving Plaza / with Doves)
June 27: Wantagh, N.Y. (Jones Beach)
June 29: Camden, N.J. (E-Center)
July 1: Hartford, Conn. (Meadows Music Center)
July 2: Buffalo, N.Y. (Darien Lakes)
July 4: Toronto (Molson Amphitheater)

-- Jason Reynolds, L.A.


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