Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Michael Franti and Spearheard out on tour

Michael Franti and Spearhead will celebrate the success of their breakthrough 2006 Anti- debut Yell Fire! by releasing a live, digital-only version of the acclaimed disc this October.

On the strength of uplifting 2007 performances at Bonnaroo and Sasquatch events – not to mention a monumental sold-out gig at Colorado’s infamous Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Franti and Spearhead have confirmed a series of late summer festival gigs on the West Coast that shouldn’t be missed. Most notable among these appearances, Spearhead will feature prominently when Franti’s own, 9th annual Power to the Peaceful festival takes place in his hometown of San Francisco on September 8th.

Then, in tandem with the aforementioned Yell Fire! Live, Michael Franti and Spearhead will embark on an autumn tour through the Midwest and East Coast. The U.S. trek gets underway on September 28th in Milwaukee, WI and wraps in Black Mountain, NC on October 21st.

In advance of these touring commitments, Michael Franti and Spearhead will enter the recording studio with producer Matt Wallace (The Replacements, Faith No More, John Hiatt) later this month to commence work on a new album. Slated for a 2008 release via Anti-, the project will follow the group’s aforementioned, widely-acclaimed 2006 release, Yell Fire!, which earned a rare ‘A’ rating from Entertainment Weekly in a review that asserted, “Who says protest songs can’t be both fiery and fun?”

One in a lengthy stream of glowing reviews Franti and Spearhead have reaped since the disc’s release on July 25th, 2006, The San Francisco Chronicle insisted, “Yell Fire is a pleasure, with Franti proving again that it’s possible to turn speaking truth to power into an exhilarating dance revolution.”

Meanwhile, Relix touted it as “an album that never forgets to entertain while educating” but perhaps The Washington Post put it best when it wrote, “Of the recent spate of antiwar tunes, none is quite as compelling as those of Michael Franti,” adding, “This joyous fusion of reggae, hip-hop and soul is a gentle, galvanizing call to arms.”

The award winning filmmaker Franti, who is responsible for I Know I’m Not Alone, the heralded 2005 documentary about the Iraq War, and the subsequent Yell Fire!, which was inspired by his travels to the war-torn area, has been praised for his commitments to peace, tolerance and co-existence from journalists and formal and informal leaders throughout the globe.

In May 2007, he performed an extremely rare San Quention Prison concert, performing before some 2,000 inmates. Franti’s activism also found him in the company of patients at Washington’s Walter Reed Army Medical Center the month prior, as he visited and performed for injured solidiers before participating in a fundraiser for Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Franti also just added publisher to his growing list of credits by releasing his first-ever children’s book, What I Be, on July 1, 2007. Marking the debut of his own book publishing company, Stay Human Books, the title – printed by Creative Beans and illustrated by Ottawa-based artist Ben Hodson – is a visual and musical journey about self acceptance.

In related news, Michael Franti and Spearhead will also take to the sea in January 2008 as part of Jam Cruise 6, which leaves from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and visits Roatan, Honduras and Costa Maya, Mexico.

Here are Franti’s upcoming U.S. Tour Dates:
Aug 16 - Salt Lake City, UT - Gallivan Center
Aug 31 – Sun Valley, ID – Sun Valley Labor Day Weekend Festival
Sept. 2 – Snowmass Village, CO – Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Sept. 8 - San Francisco, CA - Power to the Peaceful 2007
Sept. 28 - Milwaukee, WI – Rave
Sept. 29 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
Sept. 30 - Madison, WI - Orpheum
Oct. 3 - Philadelphia, PA - Fillmore
Oct. 4 - Ithaca, NY - State Theatre
Oct. 5 - Boston, MA - The Roxy
Oct. 6 - New York, NY - Nokia Theatre
Oct. 7 - Northampton, MA - Calvin Theatre
Oct. 10 - Norfolk, VA - The NorVa
Oct. 11 - Richmond, VA - Toad's Place
Oct. 12 - Raleigh, NC - Lincoln Theatre
Oct. 13 - Jacksonville, FL - Freebird Live
Oct. 17 - Charlotte, NC - Neighborhood Theatre
Oct. 18 - Louisville, KY - Brown Theatre
Oct. 19 - Memphis, TN - New Daisy Theatre
Oct. 21 - Black Mountain, NC - Lake Eden Arts Festival

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