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Randy Bachman Takes New Direction on Upcoming Album, Thanks to Neil Young

Donald Weber / Charley Gallay, Getty Images

Having taken a loving look back at his storied career with ‘Every Song Tells a Story,’ Randy Bachman is ready to ditch the nostalgia for something new. Entirely new, in fact. New genre, new songs, new guest stars … even a new band. And he’s crediting Neil Young with the idea.

Bachman, a founding member of both the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, says he’s at work on a new record titled ‘Heavy Blues,’ in which he’ll explore rootsier sounds. “I’ve already mixed half the album, which will include 12 songs,” he tells ABC News. “It absolutely blows me away.”

Featured collaborators will include ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons, Peter Frampton, Joe Bonamassa and Young — who served as the catalyst for this bold shift. “He said, ‘Take some advice. Don’t do the same old crap and call it something new,'” Bachman recalled. “I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘Don’t do the same thing and say it’s a new album … Stop, get out of the box, do something fearless, be fierce, be ferocious, reinvent yourself.’ And I go, ‘OK, great advice.'”

Bachman’s retooled backing group includes bassist Anna Ruddick and drummer Dale Anne Brendon — a pair of up-and-coming Canadian players who are already reshaping his catalog in concert. “They are just amazing,” said Bachman, who returns to the road in October. “When they redo my old songs like ‘American Woman‘ and ‘Takin’ Care of Business,’ it’s a whole new life — because it’s a whole new rhythm section.”

‘Heavy Blues’ will also include an archival song with the late Jeff Healey. Bachman says he expects to release the Kevin Shirley-produced effort in March 2015.

Next: Top 10 Bachman-Turner Overdrive Songs

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