By Whitney Pastorek
Updated March 01, 2010 at 06:26 PM EST

The litany of crap that’s gone wrong for my friends in Rogue Wave over the past few years is downright heartbreaking: Drummer Pat Spurgeon spent a year on the road with a failing kidney before finally being blessed with a transplant, a journey chronicled in Jim Granato’s documentary D Tour. Both guitarist Gram LeBron and bassist Evan Farrell left the band; Farrell died in a Christmas ’07 house fire. In 2008, frontman and founder Zach Rogue slipped two discs in his neck and lost all feeling in his right hand. This is no rock n’ roll fun, no matter how joyous and hand-clappy the accompanying chorus may be.

When Rogue regained the use of his hand in January of 2009, he started to write. Now, health issues hopefully behind them for good, Rogue and Spurgeon release their fourth album, Permalight, on March 2 — that’s tomorrow. And because I love this band and the men in it (past and present), I’m thrilled to bring you “Stars and Stripes” as an exclusive stream here on the Music Mix. Hope you’ll give a listen, and let us know what you think in the comments.

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