Roots unveil “Rising Down” tracks, prep festival and Al Green album

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to compile every tidbit filtering out of the legendary Roots crew. That’s what Okayplayer.com is for. (And more power to them; they make an amazing site.) But as one of the all-time greats, the Philadelphia hip-hop band do things that often resonate beyond its rabidly loyal fanbase.

First up: the forthcoming Roots Picnic. Rap star-curated festivals are nothing new — I remember Living Legends’ Unsigned & Hella Broke jams back in the day, and even the Roots used to do the Black Lily showcases. But this picnic promises to be a next level affair, with scheduled appearances from Gnarls Barkley (who are weathering some punishingly mediocre reviews for The Odd Couple), Diplo, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Santogold, Deerhoof, J*Davey, Esperanza and the Cool Kids. It goes down June 7 at the Festival Pier in Philly, and tickets go on sale Saturday, March 29.

Meanwhile, Al Green is releasing his long-anticipated collaboration with Questlove and James Poyser. Scheduled for release on May 27 via Blue Note, Lay It Down includes guest shots from Corinne Bailey Rae, John Legend and Anthony Hamilton.

Before that comes the Roots’ Rising Down, which drops April 29 on Def Jam. I haven’t posted the track listing so, hell, here it is. And just for kicks, here are the tour dates, too. (April 22 update: The itinerary has been updated.)

  • 1. “The Pow Wow”
  • 2. “Rising Down” (feat. Mos Def & Styles P)
  • 3. “Get Busy” (feat. Dice Raw, Peedi Crack & DJ Jazzy Jeff)
  • 4. “@15”
  • 5. “75 Bars (Black’s Reconstruction)”
  • 6. “(Time Up)”
  • 7. “Criminal” (feat. Saigon & Truck North)
  • 8. “I Will Not Apologize” (feat. P.O.R.N. & Dice Raw)
  • 9. “I Can’t Help It” (feat. Malik B & P.O.R.N.)
  • 10. “Singing Man” (feat. Truck North & P.O.R.N.)
  • 11. “Up There (Unwritten)” (feat. Mercedes Martinez)
  • 12. “Lost Desire” (feat. Talib Kweli & Malik B)
  • 13. “The Show” (feat. Common)
  • 14. “Rising Up” (feat. Chrisette Michelle & Wale)
  • 15. “Birthday Girl” (feat. Patrick Stump)

Here are the tour dates:

  • 3/29: Millikin University, Decatur, IL
  • 3/30: Kool Haus, Toronto, ON
  • 4/05: University of Texas, Austin, TX
  • 4/07: Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
  • 4/09: Higher Ground, Burlington, VT
  • 4/11: Pickle Barrell Nightclub, Killington, VT
  • 4/16: Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • 4/17: Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 4/18: Webster University, St. Louis, MO
  • 4/20: National Mall, Washington, DC
  • 4/26: Tigerfest Towson University, Towson, MD
  • 5/03: Fair Grounds Race Course, New Orleans, LA
  • 5/04: Fox Theater, Detroit, MI
  • 5/06: University of Montreal, Montreal, QC
  • 5/08: The Orpheum, Boston, MA
  • 5/09: Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY
  • 5/10: The Pier, Baltimore, MD
  • 5/11: Crocodile Rock, Allentown, PA
  • 5/14: Constitution Hall, Washington, DC
  • 5/15: Constitution Hall, Washington, DC
  • 5/16: Chrysler Hall, Norfolk, VA
  • 5/17: Special Events Center, Greensboro, NC
  • 5/18: Landmark Theater, Richmond, VA
  • 5/20: Misner Park, Boca Raton, FL
  • 5/23: Fox Theater, Atlanta, GA
  • 5/24: Three Sisters Park, Chillicothe, IL
  • 5/25: University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
  • 5/27: Andrew Jackson Hall, Nashville, TN
  • 5/29: Fox Theater, St. Louis, MO
  • 5/30: Chicago Theater, Chicago, IL
  • 5/31: Chicago Theater, Chicago, IL
  • 6/01: Harrah’s Concil Bluff, Concil Bluff, IO
  • 6/02: Fillmore Theater, Denver, CO
  • 6/03: The Depot, Salt Lake City, UT
  • 6/04: Cuthbert Amphitheater, Eugene, OR
  • 6/05: Marymoor Park, Seattle, WA
  • 6/06: TLA, Philadelphia, PA
  • 6/07: Festival Pier, Philadelphia, PA
  • 6/08: Paramount Theater, Oakland, CA
  • 6/10: Humphrey’s Theater, San Diego, CA
  • 6/12: Greek Theater, Berkeley, CA
  • 6/13: Linn Park, Birmingham, AL
  • 6/14: Mesa Amphitheater, Phoenix, AZ
  • 6/15: Kiva Auditorium, Albuquerque, NM
  • 6/17: Warehouse Live, Houston, TX
  • 6/18: House of Blues, Dallas, TX
  • 6/19: House of Blues, New Orleans, LA
  • 6/22: Genesee Valley Park, Rochester, NY
  • 7/04: Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, WI

4/20: Green Apple Festival
5/03: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
5/04-5/10, 5/14-5/23, 5/27-5/31, 6/02, 6/05, 6/08-6/12, 6/14-6/15: w/Erykah Badu
5/24: Summer Camp Festival
5/25: Jazz Reggae Festival
6/06: w/Santogold, the Randy Watson Experience, Janelle Monae
6/07: Roots Picnic
6/13: City Stages Festival
6/22: Rochester Music Festival
7/04: Summerfest

www.myspace.com/theroots

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