Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr is eyeing a spring release for his second album with his band the Healers. No label has yet been announced for the as-yet-untitled project; the group’s 2003 debut, “Boomslang,” was issued via iMusic, which has only been sporadically active in recent years.
According to Marr’s official Web site, among the songs expected to appear on the album are “Denial Denial,” “I’ve Seen More,” “The Sparks of Life,” “Reign Down the New Days,” “Save Ourselves Again,” “For the True Believers,” “I’m the One,” “A Certain Kind” and “Run in the Dust.”
The Healers now feature guitarist James Doviak, bassist Iwan Gronow and drummer David Tolan. The original incarnation of the group included Zak Starkey on drums and former Kula Shaker bassist Alonza Bevan.
As previously reported, the Healers will perform at the Manchester V. Cancer benefit concert Jan. 28 at the city’s Evening News Arena. Also on the bill is former Smiths bassist Andy Rourke (who organized the event), New Order and Doves. Marr’s site stresses, “the Smiths will not be re-forming at this concert,” but says Rourke may join the Healers for a song during the show.
In other Marr news, the guitarist played guitar and harmonica on five tracks due for inclusion on a new album from vocalist Jane Birkin. The set is due early this year via EMI internationally and finds Birkin covering songs popularized by Tom Waits, Kate Bush, Rufus Wainwright and Portishead’s Beth Gibbons, among others.
In addition, Marr’s site says he “will probably be playing” on Lisa Germano’s as-yet-untitled debut for Young God Records, due later this year.