Bela Fleck readies new Flecktones album, maps tour
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones have announced dates through September in support of their upcoming CD, "The Hidden Land."
The virtuosic band--which consists of banjoist Fleck, bassist Victor Wooten, percussionist Future Man and saxophonist Jeff Coffin--will start the new year at sea. The group will join the likes of Galactic, Keller Williams, Gomez, Steve Kimock and Karl Denson's Tiny Universe Jan. 7-13 on Jam Cruise 4.
Once back on land, the highly experimental troupe, which melds bluegrass, jazz and pop influences, will spend the rest of January touring the Southeast. The band is scheduled for two-night stands in Nashville(1/13-14), Richmond, VA (1/19-20), and Greensboro, NC (1/22, 24).
After a two-gig Valentine's Day run (2/13-14) in Chico, CA, the Flecktones will return to the Southeast for more shows in March and then continue through the Southwest, Midwest and Northeast until the end of April. June and July will see the band perform at a number of festivals, including Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN (6/18) and the High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, CA (7/1-2). The tour is currently scheduled to end on Sept. 18 in Rutland, VT, which caps off a week-long run through the Northeast.
"The Hidden Land," which is said to be a stripped-down return to the band's roots, is set to be released by Columbia Records on Jan. 31. The entire album was recorded in Fleck's home studio in Nashville.
"There is a hidden land out there, a territory where people push the boundaries of music," the banjoist explains of the album's title in a press release. "In some ways (the band lives) under the radar, but at the same time we have had some amazingly large numbers of people interested in what we're doing. This album reflects that--it's an uncompromising album. It's serious Flecktones."
The band has always been serious about touring. The group regularly plays more than 200 dates per year. All that road work has paid off for the band. In 2004, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones reportedly moved more than 500,000 concert tickets.