The flute rocking singer of Jethro Tull, Ian Anderson, has agreed to tour with the Jethro Tull Rock Opera. This announcement was made today via Anderson’s Facebook page. The rock opera will pull from the most popular of the bands 21 albums including the songs, “Minstrel in the Gallery”, “Heavy Horses,” and “Locomotive Breath.” Also, heavy on songs from their biggest seller, Aqualung, as well as a couple of new songs. The lyrics to their classic songs are going to be adapted in order to tell the story better. The musical is going to tell the story of the real Jethro Tull, not the band, but the actual agriculturist from the late 1600s whose inventions helped shape the British Agricultural Revolution.
Anderson will be the only original member, with more recent additions to the band such as bassist David Goodier and keyboardist John O’Hara joining him. The band will also feature musicians who are not Tull alumni such as German guitarist Florian Opahle, who has played on four of Anderson’s solo releases. Jazz drummer Scott Hammond will be behind the kit for this tour. This musical is supposedly going to be performed in a quasi-operatic manner, and Anderson has gone on record saying it will feature virtual guests via video. This might lead us to believe these sections would have to be pre-recorded, unless Anderson plans on Skyping them in every night. It has also not yet been revealed if Anderson will be handling the bulk of the vocals or sticking to the flute and letting younger singers have a stab at his work.
The tour is launching this year and will focus on the UK. The tour will also be visiting such countries as Russia, South America and Germany. There is no mention of any US dates being planned for 2015, but it cannot be ruled out, should the rock opera’s tour prove a success. The band’s live show has always incorporated theatrical elements, with props like a full-sized replica of a pirate ship onstage, so Anderson pursuing this should not be a surprise to any of the band’s long time fans.