Joe Pisapia Leaves Guster To Tour with k.d. lang

September 3, 2010

The next Guster album, Easy Wonderful is set for an October 5 release. The group will tour actively in support of the album but one steady face will be missing. Multi-instrumentalist Joe Pisapia, who joined the group in 2003, will no longer be performing with Guster, focusing instead on a project with k.d. lang. Appearing in his stead will be Blue Merle alum Luke Reynolds. In a letter to the group’s fans, Brian Rosenworcel explains:

We saved the biggest news for last. Joe Pisapia won’t be touring with Guster during the Easy Wonderful Era. He’s been writing songs with k.d. lang while producing her new album at his studio in Nashville, and will be joining her on the road next year in lieu of another stint on the Gusbus. As Ryan and Adam and I are Joe’s friends in addition to having been his bandmates for the last seven years, we’re sad to see Joe go but ecstatic that our brother has a chance to perform with one of his musical heroes. It’s a difficult separation but a very amicable one — it’s like watching a family member go off to college.

Joe is greatly responsible for helping our band reach new heights live and on record since he came aboard in 2003, and we’re planning to write and record music together in the future. His stamp on “Ganging Up on the Sun” and “Easy Wonderful” is one we’re all very proud of, and we feel very lucky to have had Joe on the bus with us as long as we did.

We’re also lucky to be in a situation where the only other person we ever envisioned joining our group said “yes” to the invitation. Luke Reynolds, 31, of Cornwall Vermont, will be stepping into Joe’s very large shoes this fall. It’s important to emphasize that Ryan, Adam, and I each had a list one person long when this situation came up. Luke. Luke. Luke. A great friend, and one of those multi-instrumentalists who boggles your mind because they can play every single instrument well, Luke has been busy learning 75 Guster songs through hard work and overnight-cassette-brainwashing for a couple of months now.

Some of you might recognize him from the bands Blue Merle and Pictures And Sound, or maybe you’ve seen him play guitar or pedal steel in Brett Dennen’s band, or maybe you were in Reading Pennsylvania the night we closed out a tour Foreigner-style with Luke on keys. Many of you will be introduced to him on Sept 12th in Boston at the Life is Good Festival, which will be Joe’s final show with the band.

Joe and Luke have been great friends for years, and that’s making this torch-passing much easier than it ought to be. Here are the boys backstage at the Chicago Zoo last weekend, having a little bass lesson, with cucumbers-wrapped-in-foil in their pants. Be nice to Luke!