You used your road band, the Dancehall Doctors, on this record.
The band is playing great. To me it's like, I did some great records before them, we did some great records together, and I'll do some other records without 'em. We'll go back and forth, which keeps it fresh and keeps it exciting for us. But when we're in the studio as a band, it's fun. We all have input. We're all sitting there in a room and doing guitar leads and talking to each other, let's try this, trying to fine tune. I think it's a lot like the way records were made in the older days.
The album also veers off in some interesting directions. For example, "Mr. Whoever" has a sort of "Desperado"-era, Eagles waltz feel to it.
My influences are all over the board. The Eagles were a huge influence for me. Seventies rock and roll was a big influence on me, and still is. I also love Merle Haggard, George Strait and Alabama, and so do the guys in my band. There's guys that come from a bluegrass background, guys that come from a rock 'n roll background, guys that come from jazz background, and I think you can hear that on the record. Through the years and the albums I've cut, not only do I think I've done diverse records all the way through, I think that within each record there's been a lot of diversity.
Thematically, you don't shy away from much.
[Laughs] I don't think I've ever turned anything down because of a theme or the subject matter. I just try to pick great songs. I like cotton candy as much as the next guy, but I also like music that makes you think a little bit, stuff that makes you second guess your ideals. You don't have to have necessarily lived a situation, but you certainly have to be able to identify with it and believe it.
With so many different projects going on at an given time, how do you balance the different aspects of your career and life?
First off, we dont work if it interferes with family. And I say this with a caveat, because I never want to offend people who don't have the capability or the freedom that Faith and I have to be able to say if we don't want to work. How many fathers out there would love to be able to say that and can't? But because of our situation, because we were both very successful before we got married, we are able to put a priority on family and say, 'This is the time we can work, these are the times that don't interfere.'
I coach ball, and all that stuff about when their games are, their practices are, parent teacher meetings -- all that stuff is scheduled out. There are times when it doesn't quite work out, but most of the time it does. That's a big testament to my wife because she's the best at it, she's very organized. I, on the other hand, am not organized at all.