Vida Blue will release their third full-length studio album, Crossing Lines, on September 20. The group—which began as a trio with keyboardist Page McConnell, bassist Oteil Burbridge and drummer Russell Batiste Jr., and now includes guitarist Adam Zimmon—have not performed live together since Bonnaroo 2004. McConnell will release the album through his own Keyed Records, and Vida Blue will surround the LP release with a few East Coast tour dates.
The Phish keyboardist put together the electro-funk leaning Vida Blue after catching Burbridge and Batiste with the Allman Brothers and the funky Meters, respectively. Vida Blue, a project named after a pro baseball player, released their self-titled debut in 2002 and a follow-up, The Illustrated Band, featuring the Spam Allstars the following year. In addition, the musicians released the concert DVD, Live at the Fillmore, in 2004; the film also dives into McConnell’s interest in stock-car racing. Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman all sat in with Vida Blue during the band’s original run.
Vida Blue’s first new single, “Analog Delay,” is now available through various streaming services. The LP—produced by McConnell at Criteria Studios in Miami, FL—also features Zimmon’s longtime bandmates in the Spam Allstars, and the cover features an original illustration from McConnell. One of Crossing Lines’ tracks, “If I Told You,” appears in rawer form on the Phish “bonus album” Party Time. More recently, Phish has performed the Vida Blue favorite “Most Events Aren’t Planned” a few times since 2017’s Baker’s Dozen run. They also ran through the Vida Blue tune “Final Flight” during a February 26, 2003 show in Worcester, MA that featured material from the four musicians’ solo projects.
Vida Blue will play Washington, DC’s 9:30 Club Sept. 18, followed by performances at The Fillmore in Philadelphia Sept. 20 (the day of the album release) and The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY, Sept. 21. A real-time fan pre-sale for the dates begins tomorrow, July 24 at 10 a.m. ET here. More information can be found at McConnell’s website.
Listen to the band’s lead single “Analog Delay” below:
Here’s a look at the new LP’s tracks:
Where Did It Go
Real Underground Soul Sound
If I Told You