"The Dukes of Hazzard" has done more than launch Jessica Simpson's movie career — it's also given her a sense of direction for her upcoming album, which she promises will have a country-fried flavor.
"Living in the South for three months again felt really good," Simpson said of shooting the film in Louisiana. "It brought a lot of my personality back that I was missing. I retreated back to Patsy Cline, and tried to go back there a little bit."
Simpson had threatened to go country as early as this past December, when she also contemplated adding some jazz overtones to the album (see "Jessica Simpson Planning Workout Video, Listening To Bjork For Inspiration"). But Simpson's redirection mostly comes thanks to her collaboration with Willie Nelson on the "Dukes" soundtrack single "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'," which she said was so much fun that she hopes to work with Willie again (see "Jessica Simpson To Record Duet With Willie Nelson"). "We've been talking about it, Willie and I," Simpson said. "We have some songs put away for each other, but I don't know what we're going to end up doing. We'll see."
What she does know is that her LP, titled And the Band Played On, is due out in November. "I have two more songs to record," she revealed, adding that the album marks her first as executive producer. She compares the LP's sound with "Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline, Stevie Nicks — it's all over the place. But then there's songs for us girls to dance to in the club," she explained. Simpson has worked with knob-twiddlers Corey Rooney, Scott Storch and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis on the disc, with the latter pair of producers collaborating on "about six songs" total.
|Photos: Jessica, Johnny, Ashlee, Wilmer, And The General Lee At "Hazzard" Premiere|
|Simpson, Knoxville, Seann William Scott On "The Dukes Of Hazzard" Set|
One of Storch's tracks, the dance-club burner "Fired Up" — he calls it Jessica's "Dirtty" — is a contender to be the LP's first single. Simpson also recorded another club track, "Mr. Operator," with Storch during their session together three weeks ago.
"You'll hear [the country], but you'll also hear the fun club songs. Club songs and country songs; it's all of it, mixed into one," Simpson said. "Just really good music."