Elvis Costello's upcoming Secret, Profane & Sugarcane CD was recorded with producer T Bone Burnett over a three-day period at Nashville's Sound Emporium Studio.
The last time Costello and Burnett worked together yielded 1986's King Of America, which, like the new album, explored American roots music.
Costello's trusty touring band The Imposters sat these sessions out. Secret, Profane & Sugarcane (due 2 June) sees Costello surrounded by bluegrass and traditional country musicians such as Terry Douglas (dobro), Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Mike Compton (mandolin), Jeff Taylor (accordion) and Dennis Crouch (double bass).
Emmylou Harris turns up on one song, and producer Burnett adds a Kay electric guitar sound to several cuts - the only times that an amplified instrument is utilized on the album.
Costello originals, with notable co-writers
While most of the the record is filled with Elvis Costello originals, two are co-written with Burnett; I Felt The Child was co-authored by Loretta Lynn; and two others - Hidden Same and Boom Chicka Boom - were originally penned by Costello for the late Johnny Cash. The closing track, Changing Partners, was written by Joe Darion and Larry Coleman and made famous by the late Bing Crosby.
A vinyl version of the album will feature an acoustic arrangement of Lou Reed's classic Femme Fatale, along with Costello's 'sequel' to an old Appalachian murder ballad entitled called What Lewis Did Last.
In June and August, Costello will perform a select number of dates to support the album with a band called The Sugarcanes, featuring a number of musicians who played on the record.