CeeLo Green doesn’t want a summer vacation. He’s more than happy being out on the road, promoting his fifth album, “Heart Blanche,” which was released last November.
“I had some time off,” Green says. “ But what with the interesting twists and turns, and the leaps and bounds of this life I’m living, I don’t feel like I’m working. I don’t want any time off,” he declares, speaking from Manchester, England, on the final day of his European tour. Once back stateside he begins The Love Train Tour Part 2 tour in New York City with a waterside performance to launch the Circle Live Summer Concert Series. Then he hits a dozen clubs and theaters.
Following a controversial couple of years, including legal issues and an extremely ill-advised series of Tweets, the former “The Voice” judge says this smaller venue tour is special.
“I like that I’ve done all these wonderful places and I don’t see it differently really. The goal is to always immediately embrace my audience and connect with the fans. Logistically, that’s easier to do in a smaller theater. Besides,” the 42-year-old Atlanta native adds, “after 20 years, this is my thank you to my fans for their loyalty and support, and that’s best said in an intimate venue.”
Before “The Voice” turned the five-time Grammy Award winner into a larger than life personality on the small screen, he had already found another fame outside of the hip-hop community with Gnarls Barkley, a project with producer and musician Danger Mouse. After two celebrated albums, “St. Elsewhere” and “The Odd Couple,” the latter released in 2011, and massive hit singles like the riveting soul song “Crazy,” Green is eager to get Gnarls together again.
“There will be another Gnarls Barkley album and I think sooner rather than later,” he says. “I’ve written a vignette for another project I’m calling Gnarly Davidson, it’s a play on Harley Davidson. It has a ring to it, I thought. I’ve written a handful of songs that have a familiarity [to Gnarls Barkley]. I’m egging [Danger Mouse] on, saying, ‘Hey, let’s do another,’” he says.
For now, he’s more than content bringing “Heart Blanche” to life each night. Green says he didn’t have anything in particular in mind when he wrote the record. Rather, he just allowed random thoughts form the songs. “I don’t want to be in control of a song, I want the spirit to come through. Music is alive. It picked me as its dwelling. I am a slave to the rhythm,” he chuckles. “A slave to the rhythm, that’s me.”
If you go:
June 7 at 7 p.m.
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
Pier 83, West 42nd Street
June 10 at 7 p.m.
Paradise Rock Club
967 Commonwealth Avenue