Virtuoso guitarist Steve Vai will release The Story of Light, a new solo album of original material, on Aug. 14. The title comes out on Favored Nations Entertainment, the label Vai founded in 1999. The sprawling and expressive 12-song set continues a conceptual and cosmic narrative arc that began with the artist's most recent studio release, 2005's acclaimed Real Illusions: Reflections.

Although The Story of Light is largely instrumental, the album does feature guest vocalists including singer-songwriter Aimee Mann who duets with Vai on "No More Amsterdam," which she also co-wrote. Beverly McClellan, a season one finalist on The Voice, appears on "John the Revelator," a track inspired by a vintage recording of blues singer Blind Willie Johnson, whose acid-soaked vocals are in the mix as well.

Watch Steve Vai Recording a Track From The Story of Light Album


The Story of Light is available as of today for online pre-sale orders. This special pre-sale selection of bundled packages is offered exclusively through Vai's website, where complete details on the products and ordering information are available. Each package includes an instant download of a track from the new album personally selected by Vai, "Gravity Storm."

The Story of Light is Vai's 16th solo effort, and the follow up to 2009's live effort, Where the Wild Things Are. In support of its release, Vai will begin a tour of North America on Aug. 15 in Fort Lauderdale Fla., accompanied by his band-who are also featured on the new album: Dave Weiner (guitar), Jeremy Colson (drums), Philip Bynoe (bass), and Deborah Hensen (harp, vocals, keyboards).