The Skinny: The Story of Light, the new album by legendary guitarist Steve Vai, will be released on Tuesday August 14th on his own label, Favored Nations. The sprawling and expressive 12-song set continues a conceptual and cosmic narrative arc that began with the artist’s most recent studio release, 2005’s acclaimed Real Illusions: Reflections. From the new album, enjoy this stream of the song “John The Revelator”.

Although The Story of Light is largely instrumental, the album does feature guest vocalists including singer-songwriter Aimee Mann-dueting with Vai on “No More Amsterdam,” which she also co-wrote. Beverly McClellan, a season one finalist on The Voice, appears on “John the Revelator,” a track inspired by a vintage recording of blues singer Blind Willie Johnson, whose acid-soaked vocals are in the mix as well. Other highlights include the title track (which opens the album), “Gravity Storm,” “The Moon and I,” and “Velorum.”

“I’m always pursuing knowledge, I’m a seeker of spiritual equilibrium-and music is a big part of that,” says Vai. “I’ve been obsessed with these kinds of ideas for years.” Looking ahead, Vai envisions a third set of songs that will unravel the mysteries and reveal truths that swirl through both The Story of Light and Real Illusions: Reflections. The completed trilogy, intended to be cinematic-even operatic-in scope, will include lyrics and narration.

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