Natalie Merchant maps summer tour dates
Singer/songwriter Natalie Merchant has lined up summer tour dates in support of her first solo album in seven years, the poetry-inspired "Leave Your Sleep."
The former 10,000 Maniacs lead singer kicks off the outing July 12 in Montclair, NJ, and will travel to more than 30 cities during the trek, which concludes Sept. 1 in Greenville, SC. Details are included at right.
Merchant's ambitious new double album, "Leave Your Sleep," sets poems by such artists as Gerard Manley Hopkins, Edward Lear, Nathalia Crane and others to music. The project, which surfaced last month on the Nonesuch label, had its origins seven years ago in the poems Merchant read to her newborn daughter Lucia, who was born in 2003.
"I was breast-feeding six hours a day, and I felt this burst of creative energy," she told the New York Times last month. "In my mind, I had all these visions of projects I wanted to do and things I wanted to make, but I couldn't leave my chair, and I had my hands full. So I just put a tape recorder next to the chair where I was nursing, and I would start singing into it, and that’s where the first songs came from. I didn’t really have time to focus on writing lyrics."
Merchant collaborated with 130 musicians on the album, according to USA Today, including Medeski, Martin and Wood, and the New York Philharmonic. Lyrics from the album's songs are posted at the singer's website.