Image Courtesy Legacy RecordingsYusuf, formerly known as Cat Stevens, will release his first new music in five years, Tell ‘Em I’m Gone, on October 27.

If that isn’t enough excitement, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer will embark on his first North American tour in 35 years this winter. The Peace Train…Late Again tour will kick off December1 at Toronto’s Massey Hall.

Tell ‘Em I’m Gone is Stevens’ first release with his new label, Legacy Recordings. It features musical contributions from Richard Thompson, blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite, singer-songwriter Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Tuareg group Tinariwen and guitarist Matt Sweeney. The album was produced by Yusaf and Rick Rubin and was mixed by Yusaf and Paul Samwell-Smith.

The record includes 10 songs: five originals and five covers, including Edgar Winter‘s “Dying to Live” and the standard “You Are My Sunshine.”

“Although I was to venture through many lyrical terrains, melodious valleys and cadences during my fifty-year musical and spiritual exploration, and though many would agree that I have covered a lot of ground, there was always one path I meant to take. Hidden in the background behind my renowned troubadour persona lurked an R&B alter-self waiting to be let free,” Yusuf said in a statement.

He added: “What’s powerful and profound, to me, is the overall message which emerged, lyrically. It suddenly stared me in the face: the innate struggle for Freedom! Isn’t that what most human beings dream of? Music and the Blues particularly was a means of escape for many chained to the destiny of the rich and powerful.”

The worldwide premiere of the song, “Dying to Live,” is currently streaming at Rollingstone.com.

Tickets for the tour go on sale September 27. Fans who pre-order the album at Amazon.com from now through September 21 can jump the line with early access to tickets.

Here is the track listing for Tell ‘Em I’m Gone:

“I Was Raised in Babylon”
“Big Boss Man”
“Dying to Live” (Edgar Winter)
“You Are My Sunshine”
“Editing Floor Blues”
“Cat and the Dog Trap”
“Gold Digger”
“The Devil Came from Kansas”
“Tell ‘Em I’m Gone”
“Doors”

Here are Yusuf’s North American tour dates:

12/1 — Toronto, BC, Massey Hall
12/4 — Boston, MA, Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre
12/7 — New York, NY, Beacon Theatre
12/9 — Chicago, IL, The Chicago Theatre
12/12 — San Francisco, CA, The Masonic
12/14 — Los Angeles, CA, Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE

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