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Elvis Costello goes acoustic on new album

 Singer and songwriter Elvis Costello gestures as he discusses his new program
Singer and songwriter Elvis Costello gestures as he discusses his new program 'Spectacle: Elvis Costello with...' during the Sundance Channel's panel presentation at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills,California July 10, 2008. REUTERS/ Fred Prouser
— image credit: Reuters

By David J. Prince

NEW YORK (Billboard) - On Elvis Costello's newest album, "Secret, Profane & Sugarcane," the prolific singer-songwriter-composer returns to acoustic American roots music for the first time since his 1986 album "King of America."

"Sugarcane," which will be released June 2 on Hear Music, was produced by T Bone Burnett and recorded during a three-day session at Nashville's Sound Emporium Studio. Costello and Burnett collaborated on "King of America" and 1989's "Spike."

Costello's band for the project includes such Bluegrass and traditional country musicians as Jerry Douglas (dobro), Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Mike Compton (mandolin), Jeff Taylo (accordion) and Dennis Crouch (double bass). Emmylou Harris sings on one song, and Burnett adds his Kay electric guitar sound to several songs, the only amplified instrument on the album.

Ten of the album's tracks are new Costello compositions, including two written with Burnett. One song, " I Felt The Chill," was written by Costello and Loretta Lynn, and two songs -- "Hidden Same" and "Boom Chicka Boom" -- originally were written by Costello for Johnny Cash.

The vinyl version of the album will feature two additional songs: an acoustic a arrangement of Lou Reed's "Femme Fatale" and Costello's sequel to an old Appalachian murder ballad, "What Lewis Did Last."

Costello will do select tour dates with the Sugarcanes, a band featuring musicians who played on the album, in June and August.

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

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