Pixies vocalist/guitarist Frank Black has inked with EMI imprint Back Porch Records for the release of his first solo album in nine years. As previously reported, the 14-track “Honeycomb” was recorded in Nashville with such veteran sessions musicians as keyboardist Spooner Oldham, guitarist Steve Cropper and drummer Billy Block. The set is due July 19.
Beyond covers of Doug Sahm’s “Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day,” the Elvis Presley-popularized “Song of the Shrimp” and the Dan Penn/Chips Moman-penned “Dark End of the Street,” the new album features 11 new Black originals, including “Go Find Your Saint,” “Violet,” “Atom in My Heart,” “Another Velvet Nightmare,” “I Burn Today” and “My Life Is in Storage.”
The backing band also featured guitarists Buddy Miller and Reggie Young, bassist David Hood and drummers Anton Fig, Akil Thompson and Chester Thompson. “Honeycomb” was produced by Jon Tiven, a veteran of sessions with B.B. King and Wilson Pickett who previously worked with Black on the 1994 EP “Headache.”
Black told Billboard.com in November that the Nashville sessions yielded enough material for another full album, which “has so many people playing on it, we have to kind of wade through it to find the magic.”
He described the overall creative direction of the experience as “mellow. It’s just the way it came out. Maybe I wrote a little bit in anticipation with playing with those kinds of guys. But they are definitely pre-punk, these guys. So it’s not like they don’t get it, it’s just that they come from a different world, where it’s a little more groove-oriented. They don’t necessarily play loud.”
A spokesperson says a Black tour in support of “Honeycomb” is being discussed, but no plans are yet confirmed. As previously reported, the Pixies are about to reactivate for another round of North American and European shows, beginning May 28 at the Sasquatch! Festival in George, Wash.