Bill Berry records first tracks since quitting the band...

BILL BERRY, the former R.E.M drummer, has recorded his first new material since leaving the band in 1997.

He drums on three tracks by singer Sherry Joyce and plays keyboard on several others on the ‘Welcome Companions’ compilation album. The album, put together to raise funds for the Tourette Syndrome Association of Berry‘s native Athens, Georgia, also features several other local artists. It has been slated for a June 17 release in the US.

Berry left R.E.M after 17 years with the band. He had suffered an aneurysm during R.E.M‘s 1995 European tour and underwent intensive surgery to the brain.

R.E.M went on to release the critically acclaimed ‘Up’ in 1998 and continue to work as a core three-piece, drafting in drummers when necessary for touring and studio work.