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Steven Tyler Hoping to Release Solo Album in February; Taping Unplugged Episode of "Front and Center" Tonight

Dot RecordsOn Wednesday, Steven Tyler helped announced the nominees for the 2015 CMA Awards, "Country Music's Biggest Night," during a special appearance on ABC's Good Morning America.  The Aerosmith frontman, of course, has been exploring country music himself lately, as he continues to work on his first solo album in Nashville.

The 67-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer tells ABC Radio that he's hoping to release the record by "February or so" of 2016, and is planning to support it with a tour before heading out on an Aerosmith trek later in the year.  As for just how "country" the material on the upcoming album will be, Tyler explains that the project is still taking shape, so he isn't quite sure.

"I don't even know who I'm producing it with," he reports.  "It's gonna be what it is.  There's a couple of songs I've written and they're like rock, and I said, 'Oh, geez.'  And I'm not gonna put a banjo on it just to make it country…I don't know what it's gonna be, but my heart leans [towards] the country feeling and the vibe."

Tyler tells ABC Radio that he hopes his album will inspire some rock fans to pay more attention to country.

"I think country music is the new rock 'n' roll," he maintains.  "I mean, you can listen to the lyrics, you can really get into it, just as you could get into 'Stairway to Heaven.'"  He adds, "Country's not just about porches, dogs and kicking my boots up.  It's a whole lot more, but it's about being real.  You know, the world's gone so far away from that.  I hope it comes back."

In conjunction with his upcoming solo album, Tyler will play a special acoustic show tonight in the New York City area that will be taped for an upcoming episode of the public television series Front and Center.  At the concert, Tyler will be performing unplugged versions of songs from the record, as well as re-worked renditions of some Aerosmith hits.

Joining Tyler at the event will be Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, longtime Aerosmith collaborator Marti Fredericksen and country singer/songwriters Eric Paslay, Lindsey Lee and Rebecca Lynn Howard.  The show is expected to air in early 2016 as part of Front and Center's partnership with the CMA Songwriters Series.

Tyler tells ABC Radio that the concert will be about an hour-and-a-half long and include performances of his new solo single "Love Is Your Name," and Aerosmith's "Dream On" and "Cryin'."  He points out that the latter tune, which he co-wrote with Joe Perry and Nashville-based songwriter Taylor Rhodes, "was originally a country song…But, of course, we had to rock it out for Aerosmith."  

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer also reveals that he'll share stories behind some of the songs he performs, including "Love Is Your Name," which he says he fell in love with when he saw Lee sing it at Nashville's Bluebird Café before he decided to work on his solo album in the city.  The tune was co-written by Lee and Paslay.

The 49th annual CMA Awards ceremony airs live Wednesday, November 4, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on ABC.

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