After establishing herself as one of country music's top female artists, Martina McBride decided to pay homage to the classic country music on which she was raised.

After establishing herself as one of country music's top female artists, Martina McBride decided to pay homage to the classic country music on which she was raised.

Her new RCA album, "Timeless," contains covers of 18 well-loved classics. The CD includes such chestnuts as Jeanne Pruett's "Satin Sheets," Loretta Lynn's "You Ain't Woman Enough," Connie Smith's "Once a Day" and Lynn Anderson's "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden," which is the project's first single.

In her first outing as sole producer on one of her albums, McBride hired only musicians who felt as passionately about the classic songs as she did. "I didn't want somebody that was just a hired gun on a session," she says. They included her longtime producer Paul Worley (also chief creative officer at Warner Bros. Records), who was relegated to the role of guitarist this time.

McBride says Worley "taught me everything I know about making records" during the albums they previously made together. "He's a mentor to me in the truest sense of the word." But, she says, "I felt like it was time to make a record on my own. It was time to graduate."