Remember the old Steven Tyler, who writhed and screeched his way through a rock ballad? Dream on … the music legend has decided to move to the country and release a solo album with a decidedly different flavor.
Rumors have hinted at Tyler’s country makeover for weeks, and he capped off those rumors with an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry. If that doesn’t convince you, perhaps this assurance from Steven himself that he knows what he’s doing will assure you this turn in his career will be well worth the wait.
“I grew up in the woods of New Hampshire… I have more country in me than people think,” Tyler told Rolling Stone.
So what can fans expect? There will be that “classic Aeorsmith love ballad,” of course –but this time, it’ll feature some acoustic guitar and mandolin. Tyler will sit at the piano for that one. And naturally, Steven’s signature vocals won’t be absent from his upcoming album – expected late next year on Dot Records.
According to CMT, Tyler pins his potential country style “somewhere between the Everly Brothers and the Carter Family. I’ve been working with some f**ing epic Nashville songwriters, getting my feet wet with their style and groove.”
For a bit of a comparison, fellow musician Jaren Johnston said Steven’s country sound may channel Robert Plant after his departure from the classic Led Zeppelin sound to the more soothing and down-home tones of Alison Kraus and company.
“It’s going to be in the middle of what Robert Plant has done with T Bone [Burnett] and Buddy Miller — that kind of scene. But I think with Dot being involved, and Scott, who has that ear for radio, it can be really big, but still be really cool.”
And some of Aeorsmith’s classics – “Janie Got a Gun,” “What It Takes,” “Cryin'” – give some hint as to what Steven Tyler the country singer could sound like. He even paired with Carrie Underwood not too long ago – perhaps prepping the ground a bit a before launching on his own.
This will be the first time Tyler has ventured solo. He’s already gotten to work on some tunes, collaborating with Hillary Lindsey, Cary Barlowe and Johnston. And at Dot, he’s in good company – Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, Thomas Rhett and Maddie & Tae are on that label, among others.
Steven Tyler‘s return to country – to those New Hampshire roots – is something fans will have to await for most of the year. Though perhaps a single is only a few weeks away, added Forbes. We can only hope, especially with Johnston’s endorsements.
“I think he’s going for something extremely real,” he said.
[Photos Courtesy: Brian Bahr/Getty Images and Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images]