Drummer Jim McCarty

The Yardbirds are returning to North America this weekend to launch a short tour that kicks off Sunday in the Canadian city of Gravenhurst just north of Toronto. The trek then hits the U.S., starting with a few West Coast dates before moving on to Chicago and several East Coast cities.

Drummer Jim McCarty, the only original Yardbirds member currently touring with the legendary U.K. blues-rock outfit, says the band will be bringing with them a special treat for fans. He tells ABC News Radio that the group has put together a new two-DVD set featuring highlights from some of their 2011 gigs that they'll be selling exclusively at their upcoming shows.

The Yardbirds

As for the "new band" McCarty mentions, it includes singer/harmonica player Andy Mitchell and bassist Andy Smale, who both joined The Yardbirds fold 2009. Rounding out the quartet is lead guitarist Ben King, whose been playing in the group since 2005, when he was 21. The Yardbirds also feature founding rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja, although he's been unable to tour with the band since suffering a stroke last year. McCarty says Dreja "is still recuperating," adding that "he can't really play or travel" yet.

"We're calling it Making Tracks…Basically, it's all the best tracks we did from about three or four dates," he explains. "It's quite a nice DVD. It's the new band, and features a few outtakes and interviews, and a few traveling shots, backstage stuff, and all that."

McCarty reports that the DVD eventually will be given a widespread release, although he doesn't think it will be available via retailers until December.

The 69-year-old drummer, meanwhile, says he doesn't mind at all hitting the stage with a group of musicians who are decades younger than he is.

"It's great fun playing with this lineup -- the young guys with their sort of enthusiasm and their energy," he declares. "I'm looking forward to the tour."

He adds that another aspect of the trek he's happy about is that The Yardbirds will be visiting cities that they've rarely, if ever, played before, including Portland, Oregon; Spokane, Washington; and Sausalito, California. Also high on his list is the band's Chicago show.

"I love playing in Chicago," he says. "You know, to me, that's the home of the blues."

Here are all of the band's upcoming North American tour dates, according to


8/26 -- Gravenhurst, Canada, Peter Players
8/29 -- Portland, OR, The Crystal Ballroom
9/1 -- Spokane, WA, Pig Out in the Park
9/2 -- Sausalito, CA, Sausalito Art Festival
9/3 -- Santa Cruz, CA, Moe's Alley
9/5 -- Chicago, IL, City Winery
9/6 -- New York, NY, City Winery
9/7 -- Foxboro, MA, Showcase Live
9/8 -- Norfolk, CT, Infinity Hall
9/9 -- Londonderry, NH, Tupelo Music Hall
9/12 -- Annapolis, MD, Rams Head Tavern
9/14 -- New Hope, PA, Havana New Hope
9/15 -- Chester, VA, Hops Harvest Beer Wine & Camp Festival, Pocahontas State Park

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