Eddie Vedder \"Rise\" (YouTube)

It's a big year for Pearl Jam, the band is celebrating it's 20th year of making music, and along with that group's re-issues and forthcoming Labor Day weekend birthday party, it's lead singer has released a solo cd and dvd.

On May 31st, Eddie Vedder put out "Ukulele Songs" and the dvd "Water On The Road." "Ukulele Songs" has 16 tracks, most of which are played on the title instrument (one is played on the cello but Eddie says it passes the 4-string rule). He even does a duet with Cat Power. The dvd includes some ukulele songs, Pearl Jam tunes, covers and cuts from Vedder's solo work on the soundtrack to Sean Penn's film "Into The Wild."

Vedder heads out on a 17-date tour to support the projects in June beginning on the east coast and wrapping up in Seattle.

Pearl Jam is currently working on their 10th studio album, they're planning to re-issue Ten and Vs later this year and director Cameron Crowe is putting together a documentary about the history of the band. Over Labor Day weekend, they'll play a festival in Wisconsin to celebrate their birthday.

In a Rolling Stone interview, Vedder admits the ukulele album began as a joke and then became sort of a challenge. He says it was kind of a puzzle to see if he could come up with 11 or 12 songs with just the ukulele. Vedder compares it to an artist painting with just one color, he adds that you really appreciate the subleties and changes in tone.