Mickey Hart will revive his Planet Drum percussion collective for In The Groove, the group’s first new album since 2007’s Global Drum Project. Out on August 5th, the release will be heralded by a pair of newly announced shows at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY on August 5th and 6th.
Featuring the Grateful Dead drummer alongside celebrated percussionists Zakir Hussain, Giovanni Hidalgo, and Sikiru Adepoju, Planet Drum made its self-titled debut in 1991. The album won the first-ever Grammy for Best World Music Album, and went on to spend 26 weeks at the top of the Billboard World Music chart.
“I thought there was a great need for this,” Hart said of drumming’s restorative nature in a statement. “Rhythmic unity among cultures is what Planet Drum is about, and with the world in torment, it sends a powerful message of healing.”
In a promotional video shared alongside the album announcement, Hart and the other rhythm makers discuss their perceived need for a Planet Drum reunion. With Hart from the United States, Hussain from India, Hidalgo from Puerto Rico, and Adepoju from Nigeria, they represent a consortium of the top percussionists from around the globe, united by a common language of rhythm.
“We don’t share the same language, we don’t share the same melodies, we don’t share the same harmonies, but we share the same rhythms,” Hart said in an archival clip.
The album began during the pandemic, with each member recording his parts separately. As restrictions lifted, the four musicians re-entered the studio together in an attempt to tap into the heartbeat of the world around them.
“What’s happened here in America is we’ve lost the groove,” Hart said. “All the other forces, war, famine, all those things have rhythmic causes for them. So the planet is out of rhythm. I think by getting back in rhythm, we may be able to save this Earth.”
Hussain called the project a “groove album. Very little virtuoso soloing, but four of us in sync within the groove adds up to something incredible.”
Check out a preview of the new Planet Drum album, In The Groove, out on August 5th. A pre-sale for tickets to the Capitol Theatre shows begins on Thursday, May 6th at 10 a.m. ET.
Planet Drum – In The Groove (Trailer)