Barrett Martin fills us in.

Caught up recently with percussionist extraordinaire Barrett Martin (of Screaming Trees/Mad Season/Skinyard fame), and he filled me in on all the goings-on with Tuatara -- his long-running, 'til-now-instrumental worldmusic/jazz-rock outfit that over the years has also counted Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, and Skerik among its ranks. Martin says the band -- which now includes violinist Jessy Greene (Geraldine Fibbers) -- has been in town putting the finishing touches on a double-album entitled East of the Sun/West of the Moon, which they plan to break up into two separate releases. According to Martin, the 28 new songs are "very singer-songwritery rock 'n roll -- it's what you'd imagine the drummer from Screaming Trees and the guitar player from R.E.M. would sound like." To that end, they collaborated with such vocalists as Gary Louris and Mark Olson (the Jayhawks), Victoria Williams, Mark Eitzel, John Wesley Harding, and Dean Wareham (Luna/Galaxie 500), among others. Each guest singer appears on two or three songs, says Martin, adding that the Sun disc has "more of an Ennio Morricone desert-rock vibe to it," while Moon is "a more urban, R&B-sounding record." They're shooting for a late-February release for Sun, with Moon to follow a month or so later, and they'll hit the road in the spring; Martin notes that pretty much all the album's guests will be touring with Tuatara. Should be killer. Soon as I catch wind of any local dates, I'll let you know!

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