By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
Cyndi Lauper’s musical journey takes an unexpected southern turn on “Detour,” her 11th studio album, which finds the Grammy, Emmy and Tony-winning singer-songwriter putting her unique spin on a dozen classic country songs.
The album showcases Lauper’s unmistakable voice on country classics from the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s and features guest appearances from county music stars Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, and Willie Nelson. Lauper recorded the album in Nashville alongside a band comprised of the city’s top session players.
The album is Lauper’s first for Sire Records and is executive produced by legendary Sire founder, Seymour Stein. “Detour” will be available May 6 on CD ($18.98), LP ($24.98) and digitally.
The New York City native, best known for her ’80s pop hits “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” and “Time After Time,” said in a statement that recording a country album is something she’s dreamed about for many years. Growing up, she recalls listening to singers like Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and Wanda Jackson in her Aunt Gracie’s kitchen.
“When I was a really young kid, country music was pop music, so this is what we grew up listening to,” she said. “These songs are part of some of my earliest memories so it has been an absolute thrill to revisit them.”
Lauper sounds right at home from the start, beginning with the album opener, “Funnel Of Love,” a track Wanda Jackson, the Queen of Rockabilly, recorded in 1960. She also delivers a rollicking take on “Heartaches By The Number,” a country standard previously covered by everyone from George Jones to Waylon Jennings to Dwight Yoakum. “Detour” also features stunning covers of two classic Pasty Cline songs, “Walkin’ After Midnight” and her No. 1 smash, “I Fall To Pieces.”
Lauper said, “I spent a lot of time in my room singing with Patsy. I had to sing a Patsy Cline song— or two—because her voice was like one of my girlfriends. That’s how close I felt to her.”
For the album, Lauper duets with several special guests, including country music royalty: Emmylou Harris (on the title track), Willie Nelson (“Night Life,” a song he wrote more than 50 years ago), Vince Gill (Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty’s “You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly”) and Alison Krauss (Dolly Parton’s “Hard Candy Christmas.” Jewel showcasing her prodigious yodeling skills on “I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” which was the first country song by a woman to sell one million copies.