Published Jun 24, 2015Thanks to Daft Punk's smash album Random Access Memories, Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers has been everywhere lately. He's working on a new Chic album, but now he has unveiled another new project that we're slightly more apprehensive about: he is working with Down Under country king Keith Urban on a country crossover project.
Rodgers and Urban met at a pre-Grammy party in February. According to Yahoo! Music, the new songs can be described as "EDM-country." They reportedly mix thumping dance beats with Rodgers' patented guitar style and Urban's banjo and twangy vocals. (Right now we're imagining "Cotton-Eye Joe" with choppy funk strumming, but maybe we're being too pessimistic.)
So what are people going to think of this new stylistic turn?
"His fans may have some kind of problem at first," Rodgers said. "But my biggest records have always been like that. A lot of people, the only record they ever bought by David Bowie was Let's Dance. That's at least [seven] million albums — he'd never sold anything near that before. So his fanbase got angry: 'This sucks! This is not Ziggy Stardust! That's not Scary Monsters!' But it was huge because it spoke to a broader audience. I think a record like this will speak to a broader audience [for Urban], and the country people will come around."
Rodgers also revealed that he was inspired by Urban's banjo style, saying that he is working on incorporating it into his guitar playing. "Give me six months and I'll have that down," he said.
It's not entirely what the scope of the project is. There are at least two songs in the works, so it's not clear if these will be stand-alone singles or part of an album. In any case, we're bound to hear soon, for better or for worse.