A track from the late Stephen Bruton that was left out of the 2009 film "Crazy Heart" will lead off Jeff Bridges' first solo album in 11 years. EMI's Blue Note will release the set on Aug. 16.
Bridges and his producer T-Bone Burnett, who first teamed on "Crazy Heart," greeted retailers at the EMI suite at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) convention Tuesday (May 10) afternoon in Los Angeles. Burnett got the crowd's attention to listen to the album's first two songs, one of which he introduced as a "country hit" and the other as bearing "a Beach Boys influence." A copy of the album was burned for the presentation, as not every track is final.
Bridges said he will promote the album with an appearance on "Austin City Limits." Performances in low-profile venues in Southern California -- most likely near his home in Santa Barbara -- are being considered for June.
Bruton co-wrote, mostly with Burnett, six of the songs on "Crazy Heart," the film that won Bridges an acting Oscar and Burnett and Ryan Bingham Oscars for song. The new album features musicians who worked on the soundtrack plus singers Rosanne Cash, Benji Hughes and others.
Bridges told the crowd he "thinks of himself as a musician" in addition to being an actor. And he noted his relationship with Burnett dates back 30 years to "Heaven's Gate," when Kris Kristofferson introduced them to each other.