Roots guitarist ‘Captain’ Kirk Douglas to release new solo album in November

The two-time Grammy-winning guitarist/vocalist will drop his sophomore release, "New Unknown," under the moniker, Hundred Watt Heart.

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“Captain” Kirk Douglas will be the latest member of The Roots to release a 2022 side project. The guitarist/vocalist announced he will release his new solo album, “New Unknown,” on Nov. 4.

Douglas is dropping the project under the moniker, Hundred Watt Heart. The two-time Grammy Award-winner has already released two singles from the album. The first single, “We Can Be One,” premiered on Aug. 26, while the second single, “Over The Ocean,” dropped on Sept. 22.

“We Can Be One” finds Douglas singing in his ethereal range over traditional Afrobeat rhythms and horns. Meanwhile, “Over The Ocean” has a psychedelic, garage rock band sound that leaves room for Douglas’ electric guitar to shine.

Album cover of “New Unknown” by Roots guitarist/vocalist “Captain” Kirk Douglas. (Photo Courtesy of “Captain” Kirk Douglas)

“It’s a groove-heavy rock song where the guitar takes up more sonic real estate,” Douglas said in a press release about his second single. “It talks about the bombardment of social media and how confusion can happen from it. Of course, we can all be connected through social media, but it can also distort reality. I’ve had so many conversations with people my age about the beauty of time before all of it. It’s important to maintain a part of your life that’s not social media-centric.”

“New Unknown,” recorded at New York’s famed Electric Lady Studios, is the follow-up to Douglas’ solo debut, “Turbulent Times.” The 2019 album was also released under the Hundred Watt Heart name.

Aside from this solo side project, Douglas has been a member of The Roots since 2003, playing on every album from 2004’s “The Tipping Point” to the group’s most recent album, 2014’s “…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin.” Douglas has also played on The Roots’ collaborative albums, including 2008’s Grammy Award-winning album, “Wake Up!,” with John Legend.

In addition to The Roots’ recordings, Douglas is an essential presence with The Roots as the house band for “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” The band has been Fallon’s late-night band since 2009, when he was the host of “The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon.” The Roots followed Fallon to “The Tonight Show” in 2014.

Douglas’ forthcoming solo album follows the release of The Roots’ frontman, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter’s album, “Cheat Codes.” Trotter’s collaborative album with producer Danger Mouse was released on Aug. 26.

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