Former Deep Purple singer/bassist Glenn Hughes is gearing up to record his next solo release, with the aid of Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante and drummer Chad Smith.

Former Deep Purple singer/bassist Glenn Hughes is gearing up to record his next solo release, with the aid of Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante and drummer Chad Smith. The yet-to-be-titled release will be recorded in January and is on target for a May release.

"I've written more songs than ever before on this record," Hughes tells Billboard.com. "[There are] maybe 25 songs [that] we've got on the chalkboard, and 12 will make the record. It's funk, rock, soul, and pop all mixed together in a big soup. I'm probably going to have some real strings and maybe some more orchestrated songs. This one, and I'll quote Chad here, is going to be the most varied record I've ever done."

Hughes and Smith have been close friends for several years; Smith also co-produced Hughes' 2005 album "Soul Mover" and will fill the same role on the new release. "[While] writing new music for this record, Chad and I thought it would be great to have John come in, write and play on a couple of the tunes," Hughes says. "John has written a song specifically for me. I haven't heard that one yet, but we did get together Saturday -- our first writing and jamming day."

Hughes has high praise for Frusciante, which is coming from a man who has played with such rock guitar icons as Ritchie Blackmore, Tommy Bolin and Tony Iommi. "John Frusciante is quite possibly the most musical person I've ever met. He is 'at one' with his guitar, and I've never met anyone quite so insanely dedicated to the craft of writing and playing an instrument."

The album will be recorded at Smith's home in the Hollywood Hills and is tipped to feature tracks like "Oil and Water," "Frail," "Black Light," "Stepping On" and 'The Valiant Denial.' Also playing on the set will be guitarist J.J. Marsh, who has appeared on Hughes' last several solo releases.

With Frusciante and Smith busy for the foreseeable future touring behind the Chili Peppers' spring 2006 studio album, "Stadium Arcadium," Hughes will be heading out on the road with other musicians. Smith, and possibly Frusciante, hopes to be able to fill in for a gig or two if time permits.

Additionally, Hughes has another live presentation in mind. "I am talking to some promoters in Europe about doing some shows with orchestras," he says. "This is something I've been speaking about in the last couple of years -- that I'd like to be featured with an orchestra, playing a selection of songs from my history, and some cover songs."

And lastly, what about the rumored Hughes/Iommi tour, to support the duo's 2005 album "Fused?" "We really want to do that, but it's just a matter of how and when we can do it," Hughes says. "Tony is totally up for doing it; [drummer] Kenny [Aronoff] and I are totally up for doing it. Tony wants to go out with a proper production, and it entails money. I think the agency is looking into that, but right now, I'm moving forward."

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