Donovan on a New "Beat"

New set from Sixties singer-songwriter due in August

Beat Cafe

"We only played the tracks three times," Donovan says. "There were no rehearsals, no arrangements. It seemed natural that each of the songs I laid out were played naturally by us all. It's got a folk element, but it's also got a very New Age, spiritual vibe going for it. It's a stately record, not a jam."

The album takes its title from "Beatnik Cafe," a song Donovan wrote with the specific idea of getting Thompson to play "classic jazz bass." "Imagine three master musicians playing in a Beatnik Cafe," he says. "Lots of things can happen."

Though Donovan is planning a full U.S. tour for later this year, he'll get the first opportunity to showcase the new songs at two extended residences in San Francisco and New York. He'll play at Cafe du Nord in the former city from July 13th through the 15th, and at Joe's Pub in New York on July 27th and 29th.