R&B recluse D'Angelo is in hiding no more. After appearing with the Roots at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Tennessee in June, the sonic manipulator of funk and soul has booked a surprise July 4 date at West Hollywood's House of Blues, according to promoter Live Nation.
The Bonnaroo appearance marked the artist's first U.S. gig in 12 years, and catching D'Angelo at the House of Blues won't be cheap. Tickets are going for $129, once all the requisite fees have been added in. Tickets are on sale now (yes, now) via the Live Nation mobile app. The general on-sale date is Friday at 10 a.m.
D'Angelo has more than 30 songs ready to be released, according to friend, collaborator and Roots drummer Questlove. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Questlove said D'Angelo had recently "discovered Bowie and Zeppelin, the Beatles, 'Pet Sounds,' Captain Beefheart and Zappa," adding that the new works see D'Angelo experimenting more with guitars. It may or may not be coming out in late summer/early fall, according to Questlove.
D'Angelo has released just two studio albums, works that in 1995 and 2000 helped usher in the neo-soul movement and then toyed with the genre. His last, 2000's "Voodoo," is considered a masterpiece that some say is on par with the best of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. It's a dark, daring collection, with songs seemingly materializing out of foggy, middle-of-the-night jam sessions. Since then, D'Angelo has retreated to Europe and had some run-ins with the law, but all reports out of Bonnaroo are that the artist hasn't lost a step.
After the July 4 gig in West Hollywood, D'Angelo is set to appear at the Essence Festival in New Orleans.
-- Todd Martens
Image: D'Angelo at the House of Blues in 2000. Credit: Ann Johansson / For The Times.