NEW YORK (Billboard) - Reunited jam band Phish will release Joy, its eleventh studio album and first in five years, on September 8, the band announced on its website Tuesday.
On Joy, recorded earlier this year at Chung King Studios in New York, the group joins forces with producer Steve Lillywhite for 10 new songs, many of which were debuted live during the band's return to the stage this spring and summer.
Fans who had the opportunity to catch Phish during their first proper comeback tour got a taste of nine new tunes, when they showcased swinging blues riffs on Kill Devil Hills, interplays between guitarist Trey Anastasio and pianist Page McConnell during Ocelot and the long, winding, jam-friendly Light. Only I've Been Around has yet to make its live debut.
In addition to a CD release, Phish is selling a limited-edition Joy Box, a deluxe package available exclusively on the band's own e-commerce website, Phish Dry Goods. Besides the Joy CD, the box will include a CD of a complete second album, Party Time; a hardcover book; 10 posters, each representing one of the main album's songs; and a DVD full of live performances from the summer tour, including tracks from the group's appearances at the Bonnaroo Festival in June and Fenway Park in Boston.
The box will not ship to fans until October -- nearly a month after the official CD release date -- but purchasers will get a free MP3 download of the album on September 8. Phish is also pressing vinyl copies of Joy.
I think when we were in the studio I had the best time that I could, Anastasio told Billboard.com about Joy earlier this year.
Things have gone beyond my wildest expectations and dreams, and I feel like I've been given so many blessings in my life, between my friendship with the guys in the band, our wonderful audience, being able to play this music, and then my family. I just want to stay in that state of gratitude and try to hope that the music that we play is of value to the audience.
Phish is in the midst of planning Festival 8, a three-day, eight-set concert event that will take place at the Coachella Festival site in Indio, Calif., over Halloween weekend.
(Editing by SheriLinden at Reuters)