Elephant Revival & Steep Canyon Rangers at Boulder Theater

Z2 Entertainment is proud to present Elephant Revival and Steep Canyon Rangers at the Boulder Theater on Saturday, November 19th, 2011.  Tickets go on sale Friday, August 12th for $24.00 in advance and $27.00 day of show.

Elephant Revival

The neo-acoustic transcendental folk quintet from Nederland Colorado, is touring in support of their new album, ‘Break in the Clouds’ released on Ruff Shod Records, an independent label created by Chad Stokes of State Radio. The album was released regionally on Nov. 22nd 2010 with a full national release scheduled for June 14th 2011. ‘Break In the Clouds was produced by David Tiller of Taarka. Their sophomore effort expands upon the group’s multi–genre musical approach, threading together dynamic instrumentation and a diverse rhythmic sound while exploring the depths of all five of the groups’ gifted songwriters. The album debuted at #2 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter chart, and was featured as a new and noteworthy independent release. “Break In the Clouds,” was also the top album sold in Colorado for four weeks in a row, and top radio spins for a Colorado artist in Colorado for the month of January 2011.

Steep Canyon Rangers

The past year has taken the Steep Canyon Rangers to new heights.  In March 2011, the band released its first collaborative record with Steve Martin, “Rare Bird Alert,” which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Chart and at #43 on the Billboard Top 200.  In 2010, the latest solo record from Steep Canyon Rangers, “Deep In The Shade,” remained in the Bluegrass Top 10 on Billboard for 18 weeks.  While headlining festivals like MerleFest and Bonnaroo alongside Steve Martin with Steep Canyon Rangers include “Late Night with David Letterman,” “The Colbert Report” & “Austin City Limits.”

With smooth vocals, smart songwriting, ferocious instrumentals and jaw-dropping harmony, the Rangers are bringing Bluegrass to music lovers across the USA and around the world.  Steep Canyon Rangers are:  Mike Guggino (mandolin/vocals), Charles Humphrey III (bass/vocals), Woody Platt (guitar/lead vocals), Nicky Sanders (fiddle/vocals), and Graham Sharp (banjo/vocals)

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Elephant Revival & Steep Canyon Rangers

Boulder Theater

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

Doors: 8:00 pm

Show Time: 9:00 pm


Christian Kane's "Let Me Go" Blazes to No. 1 on CMT.com

Country music‘s newest renegade Christian Kane (Bigger Picture Group) raised the temperatures on the already-hot summer with the release of the video for his sophomore single “Let Me Go.” The steamy, angst-ridden song coupled with Kane’s first-rate acting skills brings the song to life, and fans are eating it up. The Roman White-directed love story debuted on Friday, August 5 at No. 2 and quickly rose to No. 1 on CMT.com and remained there throughout the weekend, beating out country video heavy hitters and their co-stars, including Brad Paisley (featuring Carrie Underwood); Jason Aldean;  Kenny Chesney (featuring Grace Potter); and Miranda Lambert. “Have You Seen Christian Kane's New Video? Fans can't get enough of his sexy new video, 'Let Me Go,'" advocates CMT’s feature block.

The country power ballad from Kane’s rowdy, debut album, “The House Rules,” tells a vivid and relatable story of the challenges and surprises that come with being in love. “I believe this ballad speaks to everyone,” says Kane. “Women are always smarter than us, but we never listen…they seem to always know what's better for us than we do.”

Shot on location in the desert of East Lancaster, California, the video was directed by the legendary Roman White, whose credits include videos for Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Reba McEntire, Justin Bieber and Martina McBride, as well as the 2011 CMT Music Award for “Video of the Year” for Taylor Swift’s hit “Mine.” Passionate about storytelling, White has been nominated for 11 Emmy awards and has taken home three. White and Kane previously worked together on the 2007 Carrie Underwood video for “So Small.”

The video highlights the beautiful desert landscape of Southern California, which creates a distinctly vintage tone, while the moving lyrics coupled with Kane’s powerful narrative vocals create an effect that is simultaneously heartbreaking and hopeful. The visual response to the song hits all the right notes, depicting a couple very much in love, but on the brink of big changes.

“[Let Me Go”] is one of my favorite powerful songs on the album,” says Kane. “I never sing about stuff I don't know about. It's just not me.” While Kane’s acting credentials are second to none, it is clear that his performance in the video goes beyond acting.  “This one hits way close to home,” confirms Kane.

“Let Me Go” is holding strong on the fan-voted site, CMT.com, and Kane says he is grateful for the support of loya

Infected Mushroom at Fox Theatre - 09.23.11

Z2 Entertainment is proud to present Infected Mushroom at the Fox Theatre on Friday, September 23rd, 2011.  Tickets go on sale Friday, August 19th for $15.00 in advance & $17.00 day of show.  Door times and show times will be announced in the near future.

Psy-Trance innovators Infected Mushroom have become one of the biggest electronic bands on the planet. Twice ranked among the world’s 10 best DJs by the bible of the scene, the U.K.’s DJ Magazine, the Israel-bred, L.A. based duo bring a frenetic rock energy to the form. Their explosive show, featuring guitars, live drums, intensely passionate vocals and an ambitious multimedia backdrop, ranks among the genre’s most unpredictably joyous events. And their recordings continually venture where other electronic acts fear to tread.

Amit “Duvdev” Duvedevani and Erez Eisen have been working for nearly two years on an aggressive new album – their first since 2007’s critically acclaimed Vicious Delicious – for dance-music visionary Paul Oakenfold’s Perfecto label. Duvdev describes the as-yet untitled record, recorded at Infected Mushroom Laboratory in L.A. and slated for a June 2009 release, as a return to the pair’s metal roots. Guests include singer Jonathan Davis of Korn, who lends his estimable pipes to the track “Smashing the Opponent.” Oakenfold has worked closely with the band in an A&R capacity. “Paul’s known as a House DJ, so we weren’t sure how he’d feel about our heaviest material,” Duvdev reveals, “but he loved it. He’s really brought a lot of great energy and advice to the table.” From the Ultra Fest in Miami to the Virgin Festival in Baltimore, from Mexico’s OMIX to Cali’s Coachella, from Brazil’s Ipanema Beach to Melbourne’s Metro Club, Infected Mushroom has averaged about 120 live performances per year. The band will honor that tradition in 2009, starting with a 17-date U.S. tour slated to kick off in Texas in March.   For more information please visit http://www.infected-mushroom.com.

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Infected Mushroom

Fox Theatre

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Switchfoot & Anberlin at Boulder Theater | 11.19

Channel 93.3 and Z2 Entertainment are proud to present Switchfoot and Anberlin at the Boulder Theater on Friday, October 7th, 2011.  Tickets go on sale Saturday, August 13th for $26.50 in advance and $30.00 day of show.

On September 27th, Atlantic Records will release Vice Verses, the eighth studio record from multi-platinum rock band SWITCHFOOT. Working with producer Neal Avron (Weezer, Linkin Park), the band recorded most of the album in their San Diego, CA home studio. Mike Elizondo (Eminem, Regina Spektor) who produced SWITCHFOOT’s GRAMMY-winning album, Hello Hurricane, served as executive producer. Released in 2009, Hello Hurricane entered The Billboard 200 at No. 13 and contained the Modern Rock hits “The Sound (John M. Perkins’ Blues)” and “Mess of Me.”

“Vice Verses is a record of tension and release. It's an attempt to describe the polarity of the human experience. The sunlight and shadow. The highs and lows, laughter and pain, hope and fear, doubts and belief,” says lead singer/guitarist Jon Foreman.  In title track he writes; ‘Every blessing comes with a set of curses. I got my vices. I got my vice verses.’ So we live in the tension – pulled and stretched thin. Vice Verses is soul music – attempting to get to the heart of the human experience: Living in the tension and turning it into song.”

SWITCHFOOT comprising Jon Foreman (vocals/guitar), Tim Foreman (bass), Chad Butler (drums), Jerome Fontamillas (keys/guitar) and Drew Shirley (guitar) – will launch a world tour in conjunction with the release of Vice Verses.  They will be joined by long time friends ANBERLIN, on the latter part of the tour.

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Switchfoot & Anberlin

Boulder Theater

Friday October, 7th, 2011

Doors:  7:00 pm

Show Time:  8:00 pm

Lady Antebellum Takes "Just A Kiss" to #1!

Reigning CMA and ACM Vocal Group of the Year Lady Antebellum celebrate their career fifth No. one song this week as the lead single “Just A Kiss” tops the Billboard Country Singles chart. The track simultaneously earns PLATINUM certification and spends a third week at No. one on the Billboard Canada Country chart. “Just A Kiss” is setting the pace for the multi-platinum group's upcoming third album OWN THE NIGHT due out Sept. 13.

“Seeing country radio and the fans embrace the first single off our new album like this has been amazing and also a little relieving,” said Lady A’s Charles Kelley. “There are definitely some nerves and anxiousness involved when you are introducing new music, and this reaction has been beyond what we hoped for.  It just makes us even more excited for Sept. 13 to get here."

“Just A Kiss” resonated with fans immediately, debuting at No. seven on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart to become the highest debut by a country group in the chart’s 52-year history. OWN THE NIGHT follows the band’s GRAMMY winning second disc NEED YOU NOW. Since its release in Jan. 2010, the album has sold over five million copies across the globe, spawned three multi-week No. one hits (“Need You Now,” “American Honey,” “Our Kind of Love”), taken home five GRAMMY Awards (a career total of six) and scored over a dozen other award show trophies.

For updates on OWN THE NIGHT, visit www.ladyantebellum.com.

Suzy Bogguss Revives Folk Favorites with American Folk Songbook

Suzy Bogguss had a revelation on stage with Garrison Keillor in 2008. Everyone loves to sing along on “Red River Valley” – except the children who somehow don't know the song. Folk songs are the scrapbook of the American experience, but as music education fades from our public schools, she worried; these beautiful melodies are in danger of being overlooked. She resolved to record these timeless songs in an updated but reverent way – so that everyone can sing along on “Red River Valley.”

And who better than the golden throated Suzy? The platinum selling songstress already has a full bookshelf of Grammy and CMA awards and now with the release of American Folk Songbook she can put her own book up there too. After an initial release with Cracker Barrel, The CD and companion Songbook are available everywhere today.

As Suzy writes in the introduction to the book: “Music has always been my purest joy even as a child. One of my favorite memories is my grade-school music teacher pounding on the piano and leading the class in rousing renditions of folk songs from all around the world. In the summer of 2008 I toured with the brilliant and engaging Garrison Keillor. The energy that passed between the audience and Garrison was overwhelming at times. Several thousand people standing and singing together—old songs, hymns, the Beatles and the Everly Brothers. People of all ages, sharing music. Ahhh, pure joy."

But Bogguss was not content to present the songs as dusty museum pieces, instead she chose to breath new life into them with contemporary arrangements and a crack squad of Nashville's acoustic A-Listers. Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Pat Bergeson, Charlie Chadwick and Jeff Taylor all join the band for Suzy's self-produced project. Ultimately though it's the voice that lovingly weaves through the guitars and mandolins to find the new in these old songs. As John Lomax III writes in the forward to the book, 'Prepare yourself for enchantment! ...This work is, in a word, delightful!"

Suzy says she modeled the songbook after her "good old 5th grade songbook." The hardcover, 96-page book is filled with illustrations, fascinating historical stories about the songs, easy to read sheet music arrangements for piano, voice and guitar as well as personal insights and anecdotes from Bogguss. Her intent from the beginning was to make the book attractive to music lovers and musicians at every level. Again from her introduction: "that way, younger generations could share these slowly fading gems with their families and tell their stories of how they learned a few chords on the guitar or a couple of favorites to play at family gatherings.”

Cracker Barrel, with its devotion to families and appreciation for authentic Americana was the obvious choice for the initial release.

American Folk Songbook is the natural progression of an artist who has demonstrated skill and passion for all types of music in her career. Songs like “Aces,” “Drive South,” “Someday Soon,” “Outbound Plane” and "Letting Go" took her to the top of the country music charts. Along the way she won raves from critics and peers including winning a GRAMMY in 2005 for Traditional Folk Album, the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award in 1992 and album of the Year Award in 1994.

2007’s Billboard Jazz Chart topping Sweet Danger, the universally praised album, Swing recorded in 2003 with Ray Benson of Asleep At The Wheel and Simpatico, her beloved collaboration with Chet Atkins showed the world Bogguss was willing to both embrace tradition while continuing to grow and challenge herself as an artist. However, it is an appreciation for tradition that really shines through on American Folk Songbook.  The album is filled with songs that are the very fabric of American musical history and Bogguss reclaims this history and revives it with a fresh and beautiful take on classics like “Shenandoah,” “Wayfaring Stranger,” “Ol’ Dan Tucker,”  “Beautiful Dreamer” and of course, "Red River Valley." Everybody sing along!

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Tour Dates

08/13/2011 - Logan, UT - Cache County Fair

08/20/2011 - Dubois, WY - Dubois High Country Cowboy Gathering

08/25/2011 - Kent, OH - The Kent Stage

08/26/2011 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark

09/02/2011 - Highlands, NC - Highlands Performing Arts Center

09/03/2011 - Clinton, AR - World Champion Chuck Wagon Races

09/22/2011 - New Hope, PA - New Hope Winery

09/23/2011 - Annapolis, MD - Ram's Head Tavern

09/24/2011 - Staunton, VA - Fortune Williams Festival

Rubblebucket 2011 Summer/Fall U.S. Tour!

Brooklyn-based art-pop band Rubblebucket is heading out on an expansive summer/fall tour. Hitting New York, Los Angeles, SF, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Portland, Atlanta and a series of other cities, the eight-piece art pop group is happy to take their infectious, genre spanning music out on the road.

In honor of the new tour, Rubblebucket is happy to announce Paste Magazine’s premiere of the band’s latest single, “Came Out of a Lady.” Listen to the track HERE. Writing on the site, Paste noted that “As one of the LP’s standouts, “Came Out of a Lady’s” hilarious lyrics perfectly showcase Traver’s buttery vocals, while allowing for the group’s soulful instrumentation to highlight the song’s silly tone.” In conjunction, the band has also premiered their latest video for their “L’homme” with Consequence of Sound this morning. Watch the video HERE and read CoS’ premiere HERE.

2011 has been a breakout year for Rubblebucket. Releasing Omega La La this summer, Rubblebucket has earned praise from across the spectrum, with critics at Paste MagazineBlurt, Stereogum, and more hailing the band as one of most promising up-and-coming bands in the U.S. Some critics have even gone as far as labeling the band’s upbeat, multifaceted sound “Yes Wave,” in opposition to the nihilistic, late-70s New York genre. Recorded last year at Plantain/DFA Studios with Producer Eric Broucek (LCD Soundsystem, Cut Copy, Hercules and Love Affair) at the helm, Omega La la is the Brooklyn eight piece’s most adventurous record yet, with the band dipping into everything from the dancey indie-pop arrangements to Fela-Kuti inspired afro-beat stomps.

For Rubblebucket, it’s been a long journey to make Omega La La. Led by the musical couple of bandleader/trumpeter Alex Toth and frontwoman Kalmia Traver, Rubblebucket has spent the last four years building a reputation as a band that blurs the lines between psychedelic indie rock, upbeat dance, and radiant, left-field arrangements. In 2009, Rubblebucket released a self-titled album that turned heads. SPIN hailed the band as a "must-hear artist from the CMJ Festival” in 2009 and the band won that year’s Boston Music Award for Live Act of the Year.  The band then relocated to Brooklyn and released the Triangular Daises EP in 2010. A stylistic precursor to Omega La La, the Triangular Daises EP was hailed by The Wall Street Journal, NYLON, Paste, and a host of others.

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Rubblebucket Summer/Fall Tour Dates:
08/13: Burlington, VT @ Grand Point North
08/18: Stephentown, NY @ Bella Terra
08/19: Brooklyn, NY  @ Brooklyn Bowl * 
08/20: Sheldon, VT @ Liberate Festival
09/03: Chicago, IL @ North Coast Festival
09/04: Mohawk, NY @ Moe.Down
09/10: Peru, NY @ Backwoods Pondfest
09/30: Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
10/01: Syracuse, NY @ The Westcott Theater
10/05: Philadelphia, PA @ The Blockley
10/06: Baltimore, MD @ Sound Stage
10/08: Roseland, VA @ The Festy
10/10: Lexington, KY @ Cosmic Charlie's
10/13: Urbana, IL @ The Canopy Club
10/14: Chicago, IL @ Double Door
10/15: Grand Rapids, MI @ Founders
10/16: Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom
10/17: Iowa City, IA @ Gabe's Oasis
10/18: St. Louis, MO @ The Old Rock House **
10/21: Denver, CO @ Cervantes' Other Side
10/23: Aspen, CO @ Belly Up
10/25: Salt Lake City - UT @ Kilby Court
10/27: Seattle, WA @ Crocodile, Cafe
10/29: Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
11/02: San Francisco, CA @ TBA
11/04: Los Angeles, CA @ TBA
11/05: San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
11/06: Flagstaff, AZ @ Green Room
11/08: Austin TX @ Beauty Bar
11/10: Mobile, AL @ Alabama Music Box
11/11: Live Oak, FL @ Bear Creek Music & Arts Fest
11/12: Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn

* Janka Nabay & Diamond Doves support
** Trombone Shorty co-headline

Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers w/ Jon McLaughlin - Fox Theatre

Boulder Weekly & Z2 Entertainment are proud to present Stephen Kellogg And The Sixers with Jon McLaughlin and Graham Colton at the Fox Theatre on Thursday, December 1st, 2011.  Tickets go on sale Friday, August 5th for $16.00 in advance & $18.00 day of show.

Massachusetts rockers Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers, Kit “Goose” Karlson (keys, bass, vocals), Brian “Boots” Factor (drums, vocals) and Sam “Steamer” Getz (guitars, vocals)—  return this fall with Gift Horse, their second studio release on Vanguard Records, available on October 11th. Produced by Mark Weinberg, Gift Horse brings the rich legacy of rock & roll into the present tense with 11 real-life narratives about love, family, and what it means to be an American today.

Stephen Kellogg chose to title the album Gift Horse for a clear-cut thematic reason. “There’s the old saying, ‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,’” Kellogg says, “which translated as showing appreciation for what you have.’ That’s exactly what this record’s about - appreciation that I have a job right now in 2011, with all that’s going on economically in our country; appreciation for my family, because there’s nothing that I value more; and appreciation of America in general.”

Nowhere is this theme more apparent than on the first single and opening track, “Gravity.” Kellogg writes, “Gravity you’re knocking me out/ You’re shakin’ me up till I twist and I shout/ Oh, Gravity it’s okay in the clouds/ But I love it right here with my feet on the ground.”

Leading up to the release of the album, SK6ERS embark on a North American headline tour with Jon McLaughlin beginning September 27th in Birmingham, AL. Additional stops include Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

With Gift Horse Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers make a bold statement with a simple message. If you are ready to embrace the core values of life wrapped in timeless rock & roll then this is the record you’ve been waiting for.

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Stephen Kellogg And The Sixers

with Jon McLaughlin & Graham Colton

Fox Theatre

Thursday, December 1st

Doors:  7:00 pm

Show Time:  7:30 pm

Sam Llanas of the BoDeans readies solo album '4 a.m.'

Sam Llanas (pronounced yanas), lead singer-guitarist for the acclaimed Milwaukee band the BoDeans, takes listeners deep into the night on his new release, 4 A.M., arriving Oct. 25 on Inner Knot Records. The intimate, mostly acoustic collection, produced by longtime collaborator Gary Tanin, features 10 new Llanas originals and a dazzling cover of Cyndi Lauper’s hit “All Through the Night.”

Llanas says of his latest work, “I do a lot of work late at night. It’s a night record, a nocturnal record, thematically about things that happen in the night. That covers a lot of ground. It could be the simple things — being in love, being with somebody — or about the loneliness that the night can bring.”

The album, an understated complement to the BoDeans’ just-released 10th studio album Indigo Dreams, is markedly different from Llanas’ 1998 solo bow A Good Day to Die, which was a powerful eulogy for Llanas’s brother recorded under the group rubric Absinthe.

“The Absinthe record was kind of bombastic and very intense,” Llanas says. “I wanted to do something that was lighter, as light as I can get. I wanted it to be completely different. That’s why 4 A.M. is pretty much an acoustic record.”

Work on 4 A.M. began nearly four years ago, when Llanas’ band the BoDeans, which he has led since 1983, was between projects.

He recalls, “I had time on my hands, and I had some songs I wanted to record. I started working with Terry Vittone — I just said, ‘Hey, let’s make some recordings.’ There was no real thought that it was going to be an album or anything like that. It just sort of escalated from there.”

Sessions for the embryonic project commenced at guitarist Vittone’s house. “I would record the songs in the afternoon,” Llanas says, “and get them to a point where I liked them. Then the next day I’d go back, and Terry would say, ‘Sam, I want you to hear some ideas I threw down on the track.’ And Terry was willing to take really strong direction from me, because I didn’t want a guitar player who was playing all over the song. Terry was really good at putting in the nuances that were needed. He played very little, and that seemed to work very well.”

With the majority of the material in the can, a protracted layoff from recording ensued. After almost two years, Llanas began completing 4 A.M. at Daystorm Music in Milwaukee with producer-musician Tanin, who had also worked on A Good Day To Die and supplied the strings on the new recording.

Llanas decided to preserve the original recording’s spare quality, and added a couple of new tracks that were left untouched. “I wanted to keep it simple. ‘The Way Home’ and ‘Janey’ seemed to work really well just the way they were.”

However, he adds, “I thought the other songs needed a bit more dressing up. Some I thought would work better if we put a little bit more on them.” Thus, BoDeans keyboardist Bukka Allen was called in to play accordion, while Milwaukee musicians Matt Turner and Ryan Schiedermayer contributed bass and percussion, respectively.

Some of the compositions on 4 A.M. began life as prospective material for the BoDeans, Llanas says: “‘Nobody Luvs Me’ was actually recorded with the BoDeans, but it’s quite a different version — you wouldn’t really know it’s the same song. ‘Shyne’ was on our album Mr. Sad Clown. I thought that would work really well there, so I brought it into that project. The first song on 4 A.M., ‘Oh, Celia,’ was demoed with the BoDeans years and years ago. That’s quite an old song.”

Nestling seamlessly with Llanas’ own cycle of before-dawn melodies is his hushed cover of Lauper’s 1983 perennial “All Through the Night,” penned by Jules Shear. “It’s a beautiful song,” Llanas says, “but when they recorded it, in the early ’80s, the sound that they got on it was so harsh . The keyboards always ruined the song for me. I really wanted a version of that song that was just beautiful. That’s what I tried to do — honor that song, and give it what it deserved.”

Llanas’ new solo opus offers a new dimension to his music — one that actually dates back to the sunrise of his professional career.

“Before I ever had the BoDeans, I was a solo performer in Waukesha,” he remembers. “I would go and play at these open mic shows, and I learned my craft and honed my stage skills that way. I think this record really reflects that part of my career, that part of my personality. It goes back to before I ever performed with the BoDeans. It was just me — one man and one guitar.”

Esteemed rock critic and author Dave Marsh calls 4 A.M. “A great record. Really the best thing that has come out of their music in a long, long time — closer to classic BoDeans. Sammy’s voice is so much what I love about BoDeans and it has never been showcased any better.”

Thomas Dolby's first new studio album in 20 years

Thomas Dolby, the iconic ’80s star whose smash hits “She Blinded Me With Science” and “Hyperactive” helped define the MTV generation/revolution, will break his 20-year silence with a new release later this year titled A Map of the Floating City. The album, featuring appearances by special guest artists Mark Knopfler, Regina Spektor, Natalie MacMaster, Bruce Woolley and Imogen Heap, will be available on October 25, 2011 on Lost Toy People Records as a regular and hi-res download, as a physical CD, and in a special Deluxe Edition featuring a second disc of instrumentals and bonus tracks.

The five-time Grammy®-nominated British artist quit the music business in the early ’90s and spent many years in Silicon Valley, where his tech company Beatnik Inc. created the ringtone synthesizer embedded in more than three billion mobile phones shipped by Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and others. Now retired from Beatnik, Dolby has returned to his native U.K. and is busy recording an album of brand new songs in a renewable energy-powered studio he built aboard a 1930s lifeboat in the garden of his beach house on England’s North Sea coast.

Of the album, which is divided into three parts, Dolby says, “The new songs are organic and very personal. A Map of the Floating City is a travelogue across three imaginary continents: In Amerikana I’m reflecting with affection on the years I spent living in the U.S.A., and my fascination with its roots music. Urbanoia is a dark place, a little unsettling . . . I’m not a city person. And in Oceanea I return to my natural home on the windswept coastline.”

“I marvel at the new landscape of the music business — distribution via the Internet and recording technologies I barely dreamed of when I started out,” he continues. “But this album does not sound electronic at all. I have zero desire to add to the myriad of machine-based, synth-driven grooves out there. The Net has made a music career approachable for thousands of bands — but I hear too few single-minded voices among them, so I’m returning to what I do best, which is write songs, tell stories.”

To help tell his stories, Dolby has enlisted an impressive cast of guest musicians. Legendary guitarist Mark Knopfler helps drive the epic “17 Hills,” a song about a pair of hapless lovers and a jailbreak. Natalie MacMaster, the Cape Breton fiddler, adds spice to two songs. Scottish singer Eddi Reader takes a front seat on the ethereal “Oceanea.” Bruce Woolley (Camera Club) plays theremin. And Regina Spektor has a cameo as an East European waitress on “Evil Twin Brother.”

The innovative transmedia game The Floating City, co-created by Dolby and based on his song catalog all the way back to the 1980s, is currently in full swing and is proving highly addictive for thousands of regular players. The winning “tribe” will be treated to a private concert performance of the new album in its entirety. Thomas Dolby will shortly announce a string of concert dates in the U.S. and U.K. in support of the album.