LONDON (Reuters) - Singer-songwriter Yusuf, who was Cat Stevens until he converted to Islam, has announced a new album and a tour that will take him to Britain, Canada and, for the first time since 1976, to the United States.
Yusuf’s first new studio album in five years, “Tell ‘Em I’m Gone”, will be released on October 27, his record label Sony announced.
The album features musical contributions from Richard Thompson, blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite, singer-songwriter Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Tuareg group Tinariwen, and guitarist Matt Sweeney, a press release said.
It was also announced on his website that the singer, who was popular in the late 1960s and early 1970-s for hits like “Wild World”, “Matthew and Son” and “Peace Train”, will kick off his Peace Train....Late Again tour in London on November 4 and play Toronto on December 1, with stops in Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles from December 4-14.
“Although I was to venture through many lyrical terrains, melodious valleys and cadences during my fifty-year musical and spiritual exploration, and though many would agree that I have covered a lot of ground, there was always one path I meant to take. Hidden in the background behind my renowned troubadour persona lurked an R&B alter-self waiting to be let free,” Yusuf is quoted in the press release as saying of the new album.
“What’s powerful and profound, to me, is the overall message which emerged, lyrically. It suddenly stared me in the face: the innate struggle for Freedom! Isn’t that what most human beings dream of? Music and the Blues particularly was a means of escape for many chained to the destiny of the rich and powerful.”
The album was produced by Yusuf and veteran American record producer Rick Rubin.
Editing by Michael Roddy