Neo-soul singer Maxwell recently released his first studio album in eight years, “BLACKsummers’night.” Now the prodigal performer will complete his triumphant return to live...

Neo-soul singer Maxwell recently released his first studio album in eight years, “BLACKsummers’night.” Now the prodigal performer will complete his triumphant return to live music with the next leg of his summer tour.

The nearly 20-date jaunt picks up July 12 at Ryman Auditorum in Nashville, TN, and continues through August 5 at Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, NC. Highlights of the month-long run include a July 15 show at Palace Theatre in Columbus, OH, a July 24 concert at the Borgata Event Center in Atlantic City, NJ, and a July 31 gig at Waterfront Theatre in Miami, FL.

Chrisette Michele will open each night. The outing is a follow-up to an earlier tour leg, which included 10 concerts from June 17 at DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, MI, through July 4 at the 15th annual Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, LA.

In the days since its July 7 release, “BLACKsummers’night” has been well-received by critics and consumers alike. The record sold approximately 275,000 to 325,000 copies in its first week, numbers that will likely place it at or near the top of the next Billboard 200, according to a recent report from Billboard.

Maxwell’s return to the album sales charts is even more impressive considering his lengthy absence from the industry and the usually fickle nature of mainstream music. But, according to the vocalist, his push to get back into recording wasn’t so much about the acclaim as it was about remembering and fulfilling a promise.

“I wanted to return to ‘What was the promise? What did my music and creativity speak of to people?'” Maxwell explained on his official Web site. “For me, coming back to that promise was kind of where my heart was really gravitating towards. I didn’t intentionally step away from all of it, but I just wanted to…live my life a little bit, and then be able to make music with that pure experience again.”

Maxwell debuted in 1996 with the multi-Platinum release “Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite,” which peaked at No. 37 on the U.S. charts. His success continued over the following years as 1998’s “Embrya” hit No. 3 on the charts and 2001’s “Now” peaked at No. 1. But after that album, he largely fell off the public radar until he returned to live performances last year.

The neo-soul singer launched his BLACKsummers’night Tour in fall 2008, eventually extending his itinerary to more than 30 dates due to high demand. The crooner’s original block of dates for the fall outing — consisting of 144,000 tickets — sold out during the first day of onsales, according to numbers on his site.

“Sometimes I can’t believe I do this because you’re living your life, going to the corner store, taking out the garbage, and the next thing you know you’re on stage at Radio City Music Hall,” Maxwell commented. “It’s such a humbling thing, and you’d think it would make my ego go out of control, but I feel humility. Like this is why I need to do this. It’s not about your ego. It’s about celebrating your opportunity and the blessing to work and the joy you can possibly bring to people. That’s how it all resonated with me.”

Maxwell itinerary:
(Dates are subject to change.)

July 12Nashville, TNRyman Auditorium
July 13Louisville, KYLouisville Palace Theatre
July 15Columbus, OHPalace Theatre
July 16Cleveland, OHAllen Theatre at Playhouse Square
July 18Pittsburgh, PAHeinz Hall for the Performing Arts
July 19Buffalo, NYShea’s Performing Arts Center
July 21Albany, NYPalace Theatre
July 22Newark, NJNew Jersey Performing Arts Center
July 24Atlantic City, NJBorgata Event Center
July 25Mashantucket, CTMGM Grand Theater
July 27Norfolk, VAChrysler Hall
July 28Savannah, GAJohnny Mercer Theatre
July 30Clearwater, FLRuth Eckerd Hall
July 31Miami, FLWaterfront Theatre at American Airlines Arena
August 2Jacksonville, FLMoran Theater
August 3Charleston, SCNorth Charleston Performing Arts Center
August 5Durham, NCDurham Performing Arts Center

Last Updated on July 11, 2009 by By Allison Reitz