Somehow, in between hosting his Sundance Channel music and talk show and making guest appearances on everything from Stephen Colbert’s Christmas special to the “30 Rock” season finale, Elvis Costello found time to make a new album.
Secret, Profane & Sugarcane, which drops June 2 at Starbucks and June 9 everywhere else, was produced by T-Bone Burnett and recorded during a three-day session at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studio.
Joining Costello on the album are a host of country and bluegrass musicians including Jerry Douglas (dobro), Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Mike Compton (mandolin), Jeff Taylor (accordion) and Dennis Crouch (double bass).
Guest vocalists on Sugarcane include Jim Lauderdale and Emmylou Harris.
Among the disc’s 13 tracks are 10 previously unrecorded songs including two written with Burnett (“Sulphur to Sugarcane” and “The Crooked Line”) and one with Loretta Lynn (“I Felt The Chill”).
Several of the tracks on the album are adaptations of tunes Costello wrote for “The Secret Songs,” his unfinished commission for the Royal Danish Opera about the life of Hans Christian Andersen.
The vinyl edition of the album will also include a pair of extra tracks: a cover of Lou Reed’s “Femme Fatale” and “What Lewis Did Last,” Costello’s sequel to the old Appalachian murder ballad, “Omie Wise.”
Following a May 24 appearance at the Sonoma Jazz Festival in California, the singer will hit the road for a limited run in support of Sugarcane, with one leg kicking off June 9 at the Beacon Theater in Red Bank, N.J., and the second August 15 at the Deer Valley Music Festival in Salt Lake City.