Elton John just announced the tracklist — and guestlist — for his next album, The Lockdown Sessions; a number of country artists from a few different generations are included. Jimmie Allen collaborates with Elton on “Beauty In The Bones,” Brandi Carlile is featured on “Simple Things” and the late Glen Campbell is featured on “I’m Not Gonna Miss You.” Additionally, Miley Cyrus and Elton collaborate on a previously released cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters,” which also features Metallica’s Robert Trujillo and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“The last thing I expected to do during lockdown was make an album,” Elton wrote in a social media post. “But, as the pandemic went on, one‐off projects kept cropping up and I’ve ended with a selection of really interesting and diverse stuff that was completely different to anything I’m known for, stuff that took me out of my comfort zone into completely new territory. And I realised there was something weirdly familiar about working like this. At the start of my career, in the late 60s, I worked as a session musician. Working with different artists during lockdown reminded me of that. I’d come full circle: I was a session musician again. And it was still a blast.”
Elton John has a long history of loving country music and working with country music luminaries. Some of his greatest songs, including “Country Comfort,” “Roy Rogers” and “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy” as well as most of this 1971 album Tumbleweed Connection have a heavy country influence. Elton duetted with Tammy Wynette on “A Woman’s Needs” from his 1993 Duets album, and in 1999, he duetted with Leann Rimes on “Written In The Stars.” In 2001, he revisited “Country Comfort” as a duet with Earl Scruggs on the latter’s Earl Scruggs and Friends album. And in 2018, country music showed Elton some love with a tribute album called Restoration, which saw Little Big Town, Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris and Dierks Bentley, among others, covering Elton’s classics.
The Lockdown Sessions, which also features collaborations with Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and Dua Lipa, is due out on October 22.