Tony R. Phipps, WireImage
"We just finished up mixing on the first of two six-packs I'm going to be releasing," Gretchen tells Billboard. "We decided to do something that would be really fun and familiar, and a project of originals. One of the six-packs is of classic rock cover songs, and the other is all originals."
The rock songs, she explains, serve as great musical memories. "All the songs are from the 70s, which is my favorite classic rock era. We did 'Stay With Me' from Faces, 'Funk Forty Nine' by the James Gang, and also covered Bad Company and Van Morrison."
But it's the original songs that might surprise her diehard fans the most. "I've decided that moving forward, I'm going to try to give songs to my audience that move me," the "Redneck Woman" singer says. "I'm not going to pay as much attention to whether it has a fiddle or a steel guitar in it. If it's a piano based song -- even if it's not what I'm used to, but the song is that good, then that's what I am going to do. I've got a huge variety of musical influences -- country, a lot of rock and roll, but also some stuff like Billie Holiday. You can never learn too much, when it comes to music. If you're closed minded,and only listen to one style of music, your creativity will suffer in the long run."
Gretchen will perform at the Bonfire Jam in Florida this Saturday (Dec. 8). Tickets are still available and can be purchased here.