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Jennifer Nettles, Rick Rubin working together on solo debut

Sugarland lead vocalist Jennifer Nettles has announced that she is working on her debut solo album to be released this fall.  Nettles made the announcement via Twitter early Friday (May 17th) that she is currently in the studio working with famed producer Rick Rubin.

According to Rolling Stone, Nettles and Rubin have been tucked away for the last few months in Shangri-La Studios in Malibu, CA.  The studio has been home to many hits recorded by Bob Dylan, The Band, Eric Clapton, Jackson Browne and more.  The duo are trying to go outside of Sugarland’s southern comfort zone that has won them countless awards, including Grammys, CMT Awards and platinum records.

“It goes in a lot of cool different directions,” Rubin states of the album’s eclectic feel. “There’s country but also blues, jazz, island rhythms, great classic rock moments and a lot of soul. The organizing principle is Jennifer’s voice and tastes. There’s a lot of styles, but it all sounds like her.”

“There’s a lot of styles, but it all sounds like her.”

Nettles wrote the songs on her own or enlisted the help of high profile songwriters such as Sara Bareilles and Butch Walker for the project. Much of the material has been written since the singer gave birth to her son in December 2012 which has allowed her to take a much needed break from the extensive touring and recording cycle that being in Sugarland entails.

Rubin has assembled a band of session pros to work on the project including keyboardist Ian McLagen (Faces/The Rolling Stones), Red Hot Chili Peppers and Chickenfoot drummer Chad Smith, bassist Jason Lader (Mars Volta), guitartists Smokey Hormel (Beck/Tom Waits) and Matt Sweeney from Chavez.

During the last few months, Nettles’ team has come up with about 20 “performances” that could make the cut.  No release date or album title have been announced yet.  We’ll let you know as soon as more information is released.

The future of Sugarland is unknown at this time.  Nettles and her partner, Kristian Bush announced the band’s hiatus in November 2011.  Bush has since embarked on a solo tour and is also currently working on a new solo album as well.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.

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