Cowboy Junkies and Grant Lee Phillips, former leader of the now-defunct L.A.-based band Grant Lee Buffalo, have signed new album deals with Rounder’s pop/rock imprint Zoe, Billboard Bulletin reports. The Cowboy Junkies’ new album, “Open,” is tentatively scheduled for a May 15 release; Phillips’ next album, which he is now recording in Los Angeles, is slated for a summer release.
Both acts head to Rounder after stints on major labels. Grant Lee Buffalo released four albums for Slash/Warner Bros. between 1993 and 1998, scoring the top-15 modern rock hits “Mockingbird” and “Truly, Truly” along the way. The band broke up in 1999, and a year later Phillips self-released his solo debut, “Ladies’ Love Oracle.”
Late last year, Phillips took to his official Web site to offer a brief description of his newest material. “Although this is too early a date to describe the album to be,” he wrote, “I will tip my hand enough to say that the songs themselves are at once personal, revealing and I believe, adventurous.”
The Toronto-based Cowboy Junkies, led by siblings Margo, Michael, and Peter Timmins, released seven studio albums for RCA and Geffen between 1986 and 1998. The group is perhaps best known for its 1989 cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane,” which hit No. 5 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart. Following the release from its Geffen contract, the Junkies issued 1999’s “Rarities, B-sides & Sad, Slow Waltzes” and the 2000 live album, “Waltz Across America,” on its own Latent label.
The group’s new releases will be listed as Latent/Zoe/Rounder. The Cowboy Junkies will begin a run of three shows in Ontario Friday (Feb. 9) at the Mississauga Living Arts Center. For more information, visit the band’s official Web site.