December 8 [10:00 EDT] -- Robbie Robertson, the 54 year old former leader of Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Band, will be releasing "Contact from the Underworld of Red Boy," featuring dance experts including Howie B, best known for his work on U2's "Pop."
Marius de Vries, the genius behind last year's "Romeo & Juliet" soundtrack also appears on the album, as do Nellee Hooper (U2) and Tim Drummond (Bomb the Bass), according to the L.A. Times.
Robertson has been at work more or less continuously since the Band broke up in the 70's. Besides various solo releases, he composed the score to Martin Scorsese's brilliant Raging Bull, and also worked on Scorcese's King of Comedy, The Color Of Money and others. His 1987 solo debut included guest appearances from the members of U2, Peter Gabriel, Daniel Lanois, Ivan Neville and Gil Evans and more and spawned the hits "Somewhere Down the Crazy River" and "Broken Arrow." And he has also served as the performance coordinator
for the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.
In 1994 Robbie Robertson teamed with a native group for the much heralded musical companion to a documentary called The Native Americans. "Contact from the Underworld of Red Boy" is a follow up to that effort, reportedly combining the roots music with modern rock. The album is tentatively scheduled for a March release.