Huey Lewis and the News have signed a new recording agreement with BMG. Under the deal, the rock band will release its 10th studio album in Spring 2019. It’ll be the first one of originals in 18 years — 2010’s “Soulville” saw Lewis and the News cover songs from the Stax Records catalog.
This is great news for fans of the News. The group had previously canceled all of their 2018 shows after Lewis lost his hearing and said he couldn’t hear music well enough to sing.
“Right now, I’m cautiously optimistic about my hearing and just taking it day by day,” Lewis told TheWrap Friday. “Some days are better than others, but overall things have been improving. I’m hoping to stabilize, and get back to writing, recording and performing soon.”
Back in April, Lewis said he lost his hearing at the beginning of 2018 prior to a show in Dallas.
While the singer noted at the time that he could “still hear a little, one on one, and on the phone,” as far as music is concerned, the “lower frequencies distort violently, making it impossible to find pitch.”
Lewis added that he has sought help at the House Ear Institute, the Stanford Ear Institute and the Mayo Clinic, and that his doctors “believe I have Meniere’s disease and have agreed that I can’t perform until I improve. Therefore the only prudent thing to do is to cancel all future shows.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, Meniere’s disease is “a disorder of the inner ear that causes episodes in which you feel as if you’re spinning (vertigo), and you have fluctuating hearing loss with a progressive, ultimately permanent loss of hearing, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), and sometimes a feeling of fullness or pressure in your ear.”
There are currently no concert dates listed on the band’s website calendar.
“We’re very excited about our new album, and honestly feel that it’s among our best work — we cannot wait to get it out to fans!” Lewis said on Friday. “We’re equally excited to be with BMG, whose reputation as a ‘music-first’ label precedes them admirably.”
Huey Lewis and the News was formed from two rival Bay Area bands in 1979. They’ve been together since, selling more than 20 million albums in the process.
Here is the complete lineup: Huey Lewis (vocals and harmonica), Johnny Colla (saxophone, guitar and vocals), Bill Gibson (drums, percussion and vocals), Sean Hopper (keyboards and vocals), Stef Burns (guitars and vocals) and John Pierce (bass). The live show features their long-time horn section of San Francisco bay area luminaries including Rob Sudduth (tenor saxophone), Marvin McFadden (trumpet), and Johnnie Bamont (baritone saxophone).