Cyndi Lauper Discusses Collaborating With Vince Gill, Jewel and More on ‘Detour’
When Cyndi Lauper decided to record an album of country classics, she knew that she wanted to include some of country music's finest stars. So, the pop star invited Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss and Jewel to join her, and Lauper and her guests recorded most of the project live in the studio together. During a recent press event, the singer opened up to The Boot and other reporters about the collaborations.
"Vince Gill, you gotta hate him. He’s kind of perfect. He’s the sweetest fellow, and he actually is a shredder on the guitar; not many people realize what an extraordinary guitar player he is. He has a voice like butter, and he writes, and he has a great vibe," Lauper gushes. "I asked him to come in and help me lay down ["You're the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly"] for Detour because I knew he would have that cowboy swing thing ... He made that track come alive."
Lauper's invitation to Harris, meanwhile, turned into a full-blown friendship, including dinner at the country artist's house ("I couldn't believe it," Lauper recalls, noting that she very much enjoyed the meal). The two sing together on Detour's title track, setting the tone for the rest of the record.
"I kind of knew that she was right for that, and it would be fun," Lauper adds. "If she ever puts that band together, where women go on a bus and travel, I’m in."
But Lauper's duet with Nelson, on "Night Life," will remain a highlight of her career. The artist says that she knew right away that the country legend would be the perfect for the song.
"It’s such a great melody, and it’s such a beautiful song, and simple," Lauper explains. "He loved what we did. I could see it in his face. He remembered the song. It was like a piece of his life."
When Lauper asked Krauss to join her on "Hard Candy Christmas," the two singers found out that they were both fans of each other.
"She sings like an angel," Lauper notes of Krauss. "She can sing the phone book and it would be mesmerizing, because of her voice."
However, perhaps Lauper's most interesting request was to Jewel, who was invited to yodel on "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart."
"I remembered that Jewel said she could yodel. So I texted Jewel, and I said, ‘Hi. Is this Jewel? This is Cyndi Lauper. Big fan. If this isn’t Jewel, well, then just chalk it up as another crazy text,'" Lauper remembers. "She texted back and said, ‘Yes, this is Jewel.’ I said, ‘Do you still yodel?’ and she said, ‘Well, yes, and that’s an unusual question, but okay ...’" So she came down and yodeled.
"It’s got to be one of my favorite parts of the whole album," Lauper admits.
Detour is set for release on May 6; the album is available for pre-order on Amazon and iTunes. On May 9, Lauper will kick off a tour in support of the record at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium; a list of all of her upcoming concerts is available on her website.
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