Steven Tyler Reportedly Set to Sign With Big Machine for Upcoming Country Album
According to Billboard, Tyler has already re-located to Nashville and begun working with some of the hottest songwriters in town, including Brett James — whose hits include tracks from Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride, among many others — and Jaren Johnston of the Cadillac Three, who co-wrote Tim McGraw's "Meanwhile Back at Mama's" and the current Keith Urban and Eric Church duet, "Raise 'Em Up."
Tyler first revealed his plans to work on a country-themed album in a Twitter chat in October of 2014.
“I’m going down to Nashville [in] January, February, March, April to write and see what we get,” he said. “You know, doing an album is kind of like panning for gold. You get so much sand and dirt until you find a little nugget and you work on the nugget. I always go backwards, you know? "Living on the Edge," why? Or "Janie’s Got a Gun," why? Who’s Janie? And then it works. You fill in the blanks.”
“I grew up with the Everly Brothers,” he continued. "There’s a piece of me that just loves country so much. And I’m not sure what kind of country that is, but it’s got the fifth harmony, and anyone who knows who the Everly Brothers is — it’s those kinds of melodies that are just so, so good.”
Billboard's unnamed sources say the deal could happen anytime, but is expected before the summer. No producer has been confirmed for Tyler's album, which could see release as early as November 2015, but is more likely to drop in 2016. The singer appeared on American Idol in a taped segment on Wednesday (March 11) that profiled Big Machine President and CEO Scott Borchetta, who is serving as a mentor to the contestants on the current season.
The upcoming project won't be Tyler's first experience with country music. In 1995 Garth Brooks released an Aerosmith cover, "The Fever," to country radio, and Tyler teamed with Underwood in 2011 for a medley at the ACM Awards. They also appeared together on an episode of CMT's Crossroads in 2012.
Big Machine Label Group and Tyler's representatives all declined to comment on Billboard's story.