BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
The bands on The Last Summer on Earth Tour are traveling old school, driving themselves in an RV.
“It’s amazing. You just see so much more of America,” said singer KT Tunstall, opening for the Barenaked Ladies along with Better Than Ezra at DTE Energy Music Theatre on Saturday, July 14, 7 p.m. “We’ve been having a blast, from redwoods to lightning storms, to the weirdest little diners all over the country. It’s been really awesome.”
Travelling the country during their summer outdoor music tour fulfills a goal of hers, to get into an RV and just drive.
“I’ve always loved the nomadic way of life,” she said in a phone interview, July 5, as they were driving through North Carolina heading south to Florida. “Seeing the array of stunning landscapes in this country has just blown my mind. I could easily live in an RV for half a year.”
One of the weirdest things she has seen: a billboard on the side of the freeway in Oregon.
“It was a picture of a guy, like a hunky guy, wearing a tool belt and kneeling down and behind him was a woman smiling with her two daughters, and a phone number and a big slogan, ‘Hire a husband’ (handyman service). It was pretty epic,” she said.
Something similar, driving by herself around the desert in southern California, helped recharge her creative batteries for her 2016 album, “Kin,” a “full-blooded, spiritual follow-up” to her multi-platinum debut album, “Eye To The Telescope.”
“That’s actually the first in a trilogy. The second of the trilogy is coming out this fall,” she said.
The new album, produced by Nick McCarthy of Franz Ferdinand, will explore themes of the body and will be more rock oriented, she said.
Touring with Barenaked Ladies has been awesome, Tunstall said.
“The Barenaked Ladies are absolutely amazing. They’ve been the most generous, fun-loving guys over the 30 years they’ve been together,” she said. “It’s such a gift to go and play with a band like that, and their very open-hearted, open-minded audience.”
“The Last Summer on Earth tour is something we all really look forward to,” said Ed Robertson in a press release. “From its inception, it’s been about putting together great live acts to give the audience a great night out. 2018 is going to be a blast, because we’re touring with friends! Kevin Griffin from Better Than Ezra has been a songwriting collaborator for almost a decade and KT and I rocked together in Yukon Kornelius. This is going to be a great tour with lots of collaboration.”
It will be a very fun show to watch as well as listen to, Tunstall agreed.
“I take my job very seriously in terms of warming up the crowd. I really like to put on a very fun, very danceable show. And it’s just me solo, I’m up there using all my (effects) pedals,” she said.
She’ll sing her hits such as “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and “Suddenly I See,” which won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song in 2006.
Also on tap may be her recent cover of the classic “I won’t back down” by Tom Petty, which she recently recorded with Mike McCready, lead guitarist with Pearl Jam.
“It’s always great to collaborate with other musicians,” said Tunstall, who has also performed with Barenaked Ladies during their set.
“All of us are huge fans of Tom’s, and to honor his legacy has been absolutely awesome,” she said.
Tunstall was born in Scotland and now lives in Los Angeles. She released her debut album in 2004, the same year she won her first BRIT Award for Best British Female Artist. She also earned a Grammy and Mercury Prize nominations in 2007. KT has released five albums internationally, “Eye to the Telescope,” 2004; “KT Tunstall’s Acoustic Extravaganza,” 2006; “Drastic Fantastic,” 2007; “Tiger Suit,” 2010; and “Invisible Empire,” 2013.
Barenaked Ladies’ 15th studio album “Fake Nudes” will be available Nov. 17 on Vanguard Records. The album builds off the band’s harmony-rich hybrid of folk and pop/rock and pushes into more eclectic sonic terrain. For more info, check 313presents.com.
BY PHIL CUSTODIO