Earlier this month, country-rock pioneer Richie Furay, who co-founded Buffalo Springfield and Poco, released his latest solo album, the country covers collection In the Country.
The 12-track album mainly features renditions of major country hits, while also including some noteworthy crossover tunes, like Marc Cohn‘s “Walking in Memphis” and John Denver‘s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
Furay tells ABC Audio the album came about after he reconnected with producer Val Garay, who produced his 1979 album, I Still Have Dreams.
Furay says Val suggested they do a country hits project. They both came up with lists of tunes, which they narrowed down to include chart-toppers from Keith Urban, Garth Brooks, Lonestar, Alabama and Lee Ann Womack.
“Most of ’em were big hits … [but] I don’t want people to listen to this record and do comparisons,” Furay insists. “I just want ’em to sit back, ’cause, man, we just need music today … that people can just get lost in, and just say, ‘Wow, that’s just good sounding music."”
Furay recorded the album in Nashville with talented session musicians. He also brought in some guests to contribute backing vocals, including his former Poco bandmate, longtime Eagles bassist Timothy B. Schmit.
Furay says of Schmit, who appears on multiple tracks, “He’s just a dear friend … whenever I ask Timothy if he wants to come and be a part of a record … if he’s got the time … he’s always there.”
Schmit also connected Furay with current Eagles touring member Vince Gill, who sings on a cover of the 1958 Ricky Nelson hit “Lonesome Town.”
Furay says working with Gill “was really a thrill and a blessing for me … He’s such a great, talented guy.”
Here’s In the Country’s full track list:
“Somebody Like You” (Keith Urban)
“I Hope You Dance” (Lee Ann Womack)
“Take Me Home, Country Roads” (John Denver)
“She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful” (Sammy Kershw)
“Your Love Amazes Me” (John Berry)
“I’m in a Hurry (And Don’t Know Why)” (Alabama)
“Lonesome Town” (Ricky Nelson)
“Walking in Memphis” (Marc Cohn)
“I’m Already There” (Lonestar)
“The River” (Garth Brooks)
“In This Life” (Collin Raye)
“Chalk” (Buddy & Julie Miller)
Digital Bonus Tracks:
“I Cross My Heart” (George Strait)
“Pickin’ Up the Pieces” (Poco)
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