The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

May 28, 2013

Urban announces new album as he waits on 'Idol'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Keith Urban is no different than the rest of us: He has no idea what's going on with "American Idol."

"I have no official information of anything," the 45-year-old country singer-guitarist said. "I'm pretty much in the same boat as everybody else here with the rumors that have been floating around. I don't know anything more about what's happening next season. It was like this before I signed on ... so it's not unusual for the 'Idol' folks to be in this place of figuring out what they want to do, then they always pull it together."

Urban's got plenty to distract him while he waits. The Australian country music star has set a Sept. 10 release date for his new album, "Fuse," and that means he's got to finish it. Urban thinks he's got a few months of work left to do on the follow-up to 2010's "Get Closer," but leaves on tour in mid-July and hasn't left himself much of a cushion.

These things usually don't take so long, but Urban is using a new approach with "Fuse." He is branching out from his longtime partnership with producer Dann Huff. While Huff is still onboard on a handful of songs, Urban signed up Jay Joyce, known best in country music for his work with Eric Church and Little Big Town, and Taylor Swift collaborator Nathan Chapman. He's also enlisted rocker Butch Walker.

Urban went to their studios, used their engineers and players, and tried to expand and infuse his sound with their energy. He released the first single, the Chapman-produced "Little Bit of Everything," on May 13, and country radio responded positively.

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