With a two-month tour set to launch Mar. 26 in Toledo, Bob Seger has "stopped dead" on recording his first all-new album since 2006's "Face the Promise." But he's excited with what he has so far.
"There isn't a song on it quite like anything I've done before," Seger tells Billboard.com. "I'm really making an effort to break new ground on it, that's the best I can say -- different feels, different speeds, different approaches to the stuff I do. It's just...different, you know? I don't know how else to explain it."
Seger has previewed the as-yet-untitled set with a rendition of Tom Waits' "Downtown Train," which he first recorded in 1989 and revived last fall and is now being streamed online, though is not for sale. "It was the one that sounded most radio-ready," Seger notes. Other tracks include: a "father-daughter" song called "Hannah" that features guest appearances by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow -- the same trio that recorded "Collide," the new single from Rock's "Born Free" album; a track called "The Sea Inside" that Seger describes as "very Led Zeppelin;" and "Hey Gypsy," a Texas swing-styled "homage to Stevie Ray Vaughan" that he says has a shot at being included in this spring's concerts.
Seger, who put four unreleased songs on 2009's "Early Seger Volume One" collection, says he initially approached the new album as kind of a sequel, working on "about 47 old, unreleased songs...for about nine months." After going back to "Downtown Train," however, "it kind of spiked me to start writing again." After the tour wraps in the Detroit area during may, Seger predicts he'll "take a little while off, maybe like a month off -- and when I say 'off,' I'll be writing some more."
As for the tour, which currently has 24 announced shows, Seger promises that it won't be a mere redux of his 2006-07 jaunt to support "Face the Promise."
"There will be a lot of changes to the show. A lot," says Seger, who rehearsed his Silver Bullet Band at good pal Kid Rock's warehouse facility in the Detroit suburbs. "But we've worked on a lot of stuff, and there will be some changes in the show -- just doing some different songs than we did last time, Some different old songs that we... haven't done for years, as a matter of fact. We've got 34 songs so far, and I think at a max we can do 25 in a show, and I keep working them up. That's the fun for me is changing the show a little bit. We're just trying to surprise some people who will say, 'Oh, wow, I forgot he did that.' "
Bob Seger's tour itinerary includes:
Mar. 26: Toledo, Ohio (The Huntington Center)
Mar. 29: Saginaw, Mich. (Arena at Dow Event Center)
Mar. 31: Toledo, Ohio (The Huntington Center)
April 2: Grand Rapids, Mich. (Van Andel Arena)
April 5: Cincinnati, Ohio (U.S. Bank Arena)
April 7: Cleveland, Ohio (Quicken Loans Arena)
April 9: Buffalo, N.Y. (HSBC Arena)
April 12: Toronto, Ont. (Air Canada Centre)
April 15: Boston, Mass. (TD Garden)
April 16: Atlantic City, N.J. (Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall)
April 19: Atlanta, Ga. (Philips Arena)
April 21: Nashville, Tenn. (Bridgestone Arena)
April 23: Greensboro, N.C. (Greensboro Coliseum)
April 26: Little Rock, Alaska (Verizon Arena)
April 28: Tulsa, Okla. (BOK Center)
April 30: Houston, Tex. (Toyota Center)
May 3: New Orleans, La. (New Orleans Arena)
May 6: Kansas City, Mo. (Sprint Center)
May 10: Omaha, Nebr. (Qwest Center)
May 12: St. Paul, Minn. (Xcel Energy Center)
May 14: Rosemont, Ill. (Allstate Arena)
May 17, 19: Auburn Hills, Mich. (The Palace of Auburn Hills)