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The Waterboys will visit North America twice - once in the summer and again in the fall - with current album An Appointment With Mr. Yeats in hand. The band will tour five Canadian cities (Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, St. John's and Halifax) July 12-21 with a stop at Brooklyn, N.Y.'s Celebrate Brooklyn festival. They will return September 19 through October 29th to play more than 20 cities throughout the U.S. It is the band's first North American tour in six years.
According to Scott, "North America is just about my favorite place in the world to play and I'm thrilled that this year we'll play more concerts there than any year of the Waterboys' existence. Our fall 2013 tour is the longest Waterboys American tour ever and we're doing it with an American line-up. Apart from myself and fiddler Steve Wickham, all the band members are Americans based in the New York area, players I handpicked myself. I can't wait to see what kind of a joyful, wild noise we'll make.
Along with selections from their grand catalog, including Fisherman's Blues, the show will feature material from the band's 2013 opus, An Appointment With Mr. Yeats - one of the boldest, most ambitious projects of Waterboys auteur Mike Scott's storied career. Scott collaborated, figuratively speaking, with the legendary Irish poet W.B. Yeats on the 14 songs of An Appointment With Mr. Yeats, released this past March on Proper Records. American audiences received a taste of the new music during South by Southwest (SXSW) and a New York Town Hall date, also in March.
"I love the way Yeats' poems lend themselves to music," says Scott. "But I also like Yeats as a guy - a dandified, opinionated, larger-than-life character. I feel a kinship to him. My purpose isn't to treat Yeats as a museum piece, but to connect with the soul of the poems - as they appear to me - then go wherever the music in my head suggests, and that means some surprising places."
While the notion of mounting classic poems in modern musical settings may strike some as challengingly esoteric, that is not the case at all with An Appointment With Mr. Yeats. On the contrary, the new album connects with the power and immediacy of Waterboys classics like This Is the Sea (1985) and Fisherman's Blues (1988), unfolding with the widescreen vividness that has characterized Scott's single-minded body of work during the course of the last three decades.
The American press received the album warmly. "Pushing the lyrical envelope while keeping rooted in the gutsy, high-drama Irish folk, rock and dancehall [Scott] has made his name delivering over the past three decades," said American Songwriter. Yahoo! Music remarked, "An album suite essentially putting music to the words of poet W.B. Yeats, Appointment is most notable for not sounding like an unseemly and contrived hybrid, but instead a full and well-crafted album that fits nicely within the band's distinguished output." The Associated Press (AP) noted, "[Scott] pulls it off. His rootsy, melodic Gaelic pop . . . magnifies the beauty of Yeats' words and makes them new again."
In a live review of the band's March New York appearance, NoDepression.com said, "Even if you're not Yeats-obsessed, or Waterboys-familiar, the best thing you'll do all day today is pre-order An Appointment With Mr. Yeats. Romantic Ireland may be dead and gone, but Mike Scott and the Waterboys certainly aren't, and neither is W.B. himself."
The July dates will feature Mike Scott, vocals, guitar and keyboard, along with longtime Waterboy and legendary Irish fiddler Steve Wickham; Jay Barclay, guitar and keyboards; Malcolm Gold, bass and Chris Benelli, drums. Daniel Mintseris on keyboards will join the lineup for the fall dates.
Additional dates to be announced later this summer.
The Waterboys - North American Tour Dates:
Fri., July 12 OTTAWA, ON Ottawa Bluesfest
Sat., July 13 TORONTO, ON Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
Mon, July 15 ST. JOHN'S, NL Holy Heart Theatre
Tues. July 16 ST. JOHN'S, NL Holy Heart Theatre
Wed. July 17 HALIFAX, NS Casino Nova Scotia
Fri., July 19 BROOKLYN, NY Celebrate Brooklyn
Sun. July 21 VANCOUVER, BC Vancouver Folk Music Festival
Thurs., Sept. 19 BOSTON, MA Wilbur Theatre
Fri., Sept. 20 NORTHAMPTON, MA Calvin Theatre & Performing Arts Center
Sat., Sept. 21 NEW HAVEN, CT Shubert Theatre
Wed., Sept. 25 ENGLEWOOD, NJ Bergen Performing Arts Center
Fri., Sept. 27 WESTHAMPTON BEACH, NY Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
Sat., Sept. 28 MORRISTOWN, NJ Mayo Performing Arts Center
Mon., Oct. 7 LOS ANGELES, CA El Rey Theatre
Tues., Oct. 8 CARMEL, CA Sunset Center
Thurs., Oct. 10 PORTLAND OR Aladdin Theater
Fri., Oct. 11 SEATTLE, WA Neptune
Thurs., Oct. 24 SALISBURY, MA Blue Ocean Music Hall