Thursday, January 31, 2008

Shout! Factory to Release Catalog of Grateful Dead Drummer Mickey Hart

Los Angeles, CA – Shout! Factory will be reissuing a series of titles from the catalog of the Grateful Dead’s legendary percussionist Mickey Hart. Planet Drum and Diga Rhythm Band will be available in stores on March 18, and At The Edge, Supralingua, and Mickey Hart’s Mystery Box will be available on April 15. These titles will also be available as digital downloads for the first time.

Over three decades as the innovative percussion engine of the Grateful Dead, Mickey Hart's ear for global sounds brought numerous unpredictable guests to the Dead's stage performances.

Hart's 1991 release Planet Drum was the natural outgrowth of this adventure, showcasing his gift as a supreme catalyst in convening the world's finest percussion talent for a dazzling collaboration, including Zakir Hussain, who is an international phenomenon in his own right. Planet Drum was recorded in Hart's Sonoma County home studio, with the Dead's legendary crew turning virtually every room in the house into a work zone for each musician. The album won the first-ever Grammy® for Best World Music Album, spent an unprecedented 26 weeks at #1 on the Billboard World Music chart, and remains a favorite to this day.

Diga Rhythm Band, one of the first world music recordings, is a crystalline celebration of drumming and percussion featuring Hart, Hussain, nine other rhythmatists, and Jerry Garcia on two tracks. At The Edge, an exploration of the music of primeval man, is a serene soundscape of tuned percussion, ambient natural sounds, and guitar treatments by Jerry Garcia. The album is the companion to Hart’s acclaimed book debut, Drumming at the Edge of Magic (Harper San Francisco 1990). Mickey Hart’s Mystery Box is an effervescent, pop-inflected album, full of breezy songs with layered vocals by England's Mint Juleps - and a vocal debut by Mickey Hart. On Supralingua Hart continued to push the "tribal space" boundaries of percussion and sound, beyond his Grammy®-winning Planet Drum, with some of the same stellar guest personnel.

The release of these titles come on the heels of Global Drum Project, a collaboration from Mickey Hart and Indian tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, consisting of tranced-out grooves, elegant electronic programming and hypnotic tuned percussion. Released earlier this year on Shout! Factory, the album garnered rave reviews. The Washington Post called the album “subtle and complex yet primal as a heartbeat,” and NPR’s Fresh Air declared the project “smart, honorable and admirable.”

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