Patti Scialfa admits the prospect of releasing her third solo album just in front of husband Bruce Springsteen's next project is "challenging."

Patti Scialfa admits the prospect of releasing her third solo album just in front of husband Bruce Springsteen's next project is "challenging."

"It's just the way it worked out," Scialfa, who releases "Play It As It Lays" on Sept. 4, tells Billboard.com. "When we came off 'The Seeger Sessions,' I had already started this record and had three or four things cut. I was dying to get back to work and I stared working and (Springsteen) started working ... and then we knew we were coming close together and he wanted me to be able to put mine out before his. When I was younger I would probably have wanted more room to myself, but at this point it doesn't matter."

What it has meant, Scialfa says, is that "it's been an exciting time at home because we're both pretty busy. It feels like a great, creative time. It just feels very positive."

As part of the E Street Band, of course, Scialfa appears on Springsteen's album, which is expected out in October, while Springsteen plays guitar and organ on four "Play It As It Lays" tracks, including the first single, "Town Called Heartbreak."

Scialfa wrote all 10 songs on the album, her first since 2004's "23rd Street Lullaby," and co-produced it with Steve Jordan and Ron Aiella. Besides Springsteen, players include E Streeters Nils Lofgren and Soozie Tyrell, as well as Jordan, bassist Willie Weeks and keyboardist Clifford Carter.

Scialfa has a number of TV appearances set for the week of the album's release, but she says her own concerts will have to wait until "maybe in the new year," during a break from a Springsteen tour that's expected to be announced shortly.

She said his new songs "are going to be a lot of fun to play live," but she plans to carve out time to give her material a live airing, too.

"I went out with '23rd Street Lullaby,' and I had so much fun," she says. "It was a really liberating experience for me. It's fun after working alone on a record to take it out there. I'd like to do that with this one, too."

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