This is a good year for Robbie Robertson.Earlier this year, The Band’s former guitarist, songwriter and leader released “How to Become Clairvoyant,” his first solo album in 13 years, and it was a commercial and critical success.Now, Robertson has a limited-edition collector’s set of the album. Lovingly assembled, it is an LP-scale box that spans an art book, an individually numbered set of five lithographs (including examples by the noted artist Richard Prince and photographer Anton Corbijn), a collection of tarot cards and the original album. Plus, for music lovers, there are also10 bonus cuts. The artwork includes Prince’s stylings on a photo of a 17-year-old Robertson.“You can’t get this on a CD or a DVD, a true intersection between art and music,” he observed. “I’m really enjoying the process,” he said, pronouncing the word as “PRO-cess, in recognition of his upbringing in Toronto.Keeping his foot on the gas, Robertson has his hands full with coming projects. He’s currently working on the songs for a follow-up solo album. He’s finally getting to the business of writing his autobiography — after a few aborted attempts in the past — with an eye toward a publication date possibly in 2013.
Robertson, who has played precious few gigs since The Band retired at The Last Waltz concert in 1976, has agreed to play a 20-minute set in October to honor WXPN in Philadelphia. When I asked him if he might play one of his Band gems during the gig, he smiled and said, “Hmmm. It’s possible.”