Ringo Starr has been issuing EPs since 2021 but is now pledging to return with an album-length project. He'll follow up the April release of Crooked Boy by circling back to country music, a genre that helped define Starr's career with the Beatles and as a solo artist.

"I'm working on it with someone very special – T Bone Burnett," Starr tells USA Today. "He's doing stuff in Nashville and he comes to L.A. and it's all working out. He came to me with nine songs. It won't be out until October, at least."

Starr also recorded 1970's countrified Beaucoup of Blues in Nashville. His sophomore solo release consolidated an influence that played out in Beatles-era covers like Buck Owens' "Act Naturally" and Starr's own rootsy original "Don't Pass Me By."

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Taking the concept seriously, Starr completed Beaucoup of Blues alongside a group of ace country pickers and producer Pete Drake, a steel guitar-playing Nashville legend. "I think some of my finest vocals are on that album," Starr has said, "because I was relaxed."

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Starr had met Drake during the sessions for former bandmate George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, and they both appeared on the title track. So, he trusted Drake in selecting the material and the sidemen, which included Charlie Daniels, Ben Keith and D.J. Fontana.

Starr hasn't yet confirmed who might play on his as-yet-untitled country follow-up. In the meantime, he's going back on the road later this month with his All-Starr Band. The lineup again features long-time collaborator Steve Lukather, who's been Starr's longest-serving solo bandmate. The Toto stalwart has appeared on every All-Starr Band date since 2012.

"I'll never get rid of Luke; he has a lifelong ticket," Starr tells USA Today. "He's my last best friend. You need time to make best friends. He's an incredibly good musician and an incredible human being."

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