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07-25-2005?Bastardos! track listing and cover art revealed; Summer tour nears midway point with many new debuts and lengthy sets; New management company announced for Blues Traveler; Fall tour rumors and innuendoes

¡Bastardos!, Blues Traveler's eighth studio album, may not be hitting stores until September 13th - eleven years to the day after the release of four - but thanks to various and sundry web sites, the cover art and track listing for the new disc is now available. The cover art can be seen courtesy of the Welk Music Group, which recently posted a band biography, publicity photos and the cover of ¡Bastardos! to its web site. Depicted on the cover appear to be, from left to right, John, Brendan, an unknown woman, Chan and Tad, with Ben at the bottom right. The track listing obtained looks like this:
1. You Can't Stop Thinking About Me
2. Amber Awaits
3. After What
4. Money Back Guarantee
5. Can't Win True Love
6. Nail
7. Leaning In
8. She And I
9. Rubberneck
10. Nefertiti
11. What Could Possibly Go Wrong
12. That Which Doesn't Kill You
13. She Isn't Mine
14. The Children Of The Night
Of the fourteen tracks, only two have yet to be played live as of this writing - "Leaning In" and the album closer "Children Of The Night". Bluestraveler.net's new discography entry, including a picture of a promo copy of the disc and track timings, can be seen here. Producer Jay Bennett granted an interview to Relix Magazine about his experience with the band in studio; an excerpt can be seen on his biography at Undertow Music.

The setlists for the summer tour, now nearing its midway point with a quick swing to the northeast after a few dates in the plains states, have been widely varied. Most shows have seen the band playing one long main set - some upwards of two hours - with a multiple-song encore. Tapers have been a strong presence, with a half-dozen rigs at several of them, and recordings abound on BitTorrent trackers like bt.etree.org. The most recent debuts include "Nefertiti", "She Isn't Mine" (first played by John solo back in February, then with Chan in June), and "That Which Doesn't Kill You". With six more weeks left on the current tour, fans may just get to hear the entire album in live format before it is released.

Over the spring, the band parted ways with manager Scott McGhee, who had managed the band since old friend Dave Frey left to pursue his own projects in late 1999. After word got out that the band was once again a "free agent", they were reportedly contacted by a number of agents looking to offer their services to the band, whose reputation had only increased in their way back from the unfortunate events of mid-1999. The band finally settled on Austin locals Charles Attal and George Couri of Fourth Floor Management. Attal is probably best known as the co-owner of famed Austin music venue Stubb's BBQ/Waller Creek Amphitheater, but is also one of the main minds behind the Austin City Limits festival, and a major part in bringing the recent Lollapalooza festival back to life in Chicago. Attal and Couri are also members of the Austin Music Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering and preserving the bustling, thriving Austin music scene. Couri, meanwhile, heads the artist management division of Capital Sports & Entertainment, a management company that counts Lance Armstrong, Jack Ingram, Abra Moore and others among its clients. Given Attal's experience as a music promoter and Couri's previous experience with a record label, the pair appear to be a great match for the band.

Finally, plans are afoot for a lengthy fall tour supporting ¡Bastardos!; and rumor has it that the entire tour may be announced as soon as next month. While there are surely some surprises still to come, early word is that the tour will run through many of the major markets that were skipped on this summer's jaunt around the country. The band and management are also trying hard to schedule dates in a way that will make it possible for fans to catch multiple shows in a row, and also possibly make it easier for fans to get first crack at tickets as they have in years past. None of this is confirmed, of course, so stay tuned both here and to bluestraveler.com for the latest as ¡Bastardos! approaches release.