The award-winning singing actor, who received his fifth Tony nomination for his work as Peron in the aforementioned Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical, recorded the upcoming album at Piety Street Studios in New Orleans with producer Mark Bingham, who has produced records for Marianne Faithful and REM, among many others.
"I've become more and more a part of New Orleans over the years, teaching at local arts high schools, volunteering at Habitat and developing the Nine Lives project," Cerveris told Playbill.com earlier this week. "I've made a number of friends in the theatre scene and in the music world, and many of these musician friends appear on the album."
Those musicians include Paul Sanchez, Shamarr Allen, Alex McMurray, fiddler Linzay Young (Red Stick Ramblers), Mia Borders, Rod Hodges (Iguanas), Helen Gillett, the Craft Brothers (Glasgow), Matt Rhody and Karal Winton as well as New York singers Kimberly Kaye, Kendall Meade (Mascott) and the Gospel Queens, who sing with Naomi Shelton.
"It's a much mellower acoustic-based record than my first one with beautiful string arrangements by Jimbo Walsh," Cerveris added. "The whole thing has a folk/country feeling that is part of a return to my southern roots growing up in West Virginia." The acclaimed artist said that possible titles include "Leave the Light On" or "Southern Jumbo"; the latter, he said, is a "reference to my 1950s Gibson SJ 45 that I played all my guitar parts on." A late summer or early fall release is expected.
How Many Times
Cerveris and Loose Cattle will perform several of these new songs as well as a set of country music covers at two upcoming New York engagements: at the CBGB Festival at Birreria on July 6 and at Joe's Pub on July 15.
Loose Cattle, who were named after a country road sign, include vocalist Kimberly Kaye, Gabriel Caplan (Naomi Shelton & Gospel Queens), Lorenzo Wolf (The Lisps) and Eddie Zweiback (Losers' Lounge). For ticket information for July 6, click here; for July 15, click here.