Eddie Vedder is trading stadium-filling guitar riffs for the strum of a ukulele on his new solo album, "Ukulele Songs."  The Pearl Jam frontman tells "The Seattle Times" that his ukulele -- or what he calls a "little four-string songwriting tool" -- became very important to him over the years.  He says it changed the way he brought songs to the rest of the guys in the band as well as turning his solo project into more than just a "little batch of songs."  Vedder explains that playing the record's sad songs on a "happy instrument" keeps listeners from going "off a cliff."  "Ukulele Songs" is in stores now and the LP version features a songbook, which Vedder says is his way of encouraging people to pick up their own Ukulele and play along.

Vedder also plans to hit the road later this summer.  The singer says he tried not to get too "puffed up" after hearing that tickets for his solo shows sold out quickly, joking that Charlie Sheen's "Torpedo Of Truth" tour was also a big seller.  Vedder's trek kicks off June 15th with a show in Providence, Rhode Island.

Here are Eddie Vedder's upcoming solo tour dates:
6/15 -- Providence, RI -- Providence Performing Arts Center
6/16 -- Boston, MA -- The Wang Theatre
6/18 -- Hartford, CT -- The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts
6/21 -- New York, NY -- Beacon Theatre
6/22 -- New York, NY -- Beacon Theatre
6/25 -- Philadelphia, PA -- Tower Theatre
6/26 -- Detroit, MI -- Fox Theatre
6/28 -- Chicago, IL -- The Chicago Theatre
7/1 -- St. Louis, MO -- Fox Theatre
7/2 -- Minneapolis, MN -- Orpheum Theatre
7/5 -- San Diego, CA  -- Copley Symphony Hall
7/6 -- Long Beach, CA -- Terrace Theater
7/8 -- Los Angeles, CA -- The Wiltern
7/9 -- Santa Barbara, CA -- Santa Barbara Bowl
7/11 -- Oakland, CA -- The Paramount Theatre
7/14 -- Portland, OR -- Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
7/15 -- Seattle, WA -- Benaroya Hall