Richard Barone led cult heroes The Bongos through the New Wave ’80s, and though that experience eventually inspired a moving memoir (Frontman: Surviving The Rock Star Myth), when he broke away from The Bongos with his first solo album, 1987’s Cool Blue Halo, Barone went in a very different direction. Recorded live in a sort of folk-noir, chamber-pop setting, CBH created a magical moment in time. Years later, Nirvana even recorded a live acoustic cover of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World” with an arrangement conspicuously similar to the one on Cool Blue Halo, going so far as to bring in Barone’s cellist, Jane Scarpantoni, for the occasion.
Now Barone is getting set to celebrate Cool Blue Halo‘s 25th anniversary in a couple of intriguing ways. One one end, he’s readying a deluxe box set reissue of the album, a limited-edition affair that will include everything from additional live recordings to a live DVD. The DVD in question will contain a film of the most imminent iteration of the CBH anniversary celebration — on May 4 at New York’s City Winery, Barone will recreate the album in its entirety onstage, with the original band. He’ll also be joined by special guests including Fred Schneider of The B-52’s, Garth Hudson of The Band, and Tony Visconti, who has produced both Barone and Bowie, and was in fact responsible for Bowie’s original arrangement of the aforementioned song, bringing the whole thing full circle.