Steven Tyler performed at the Melrose Ballroom in New York City on Thursday night (Sept. 10) and played country versions of Aerosmith songs to preview the new sound of his upcoming album, along with new material such as "Love Is Your Name," his first hit on the charts since 2001. The countrified Aerosmith setlist included "Cryin," "What It Takes" and "Livin' on the Edge," as Tyler's backing band Loving Mary played behind him.
These tunes were an easy transition into country stylings for the 67-year-old frontman and unlikely to offend die hard fans of Aerosmith. He even performed a soul-drenched renditions of the classic songs "Mercedes Benz" and "Piece of My Heart" by blues legend Janis Joplin at the end of his set.
"I knew if I was going to do a solo record, I had to have one of her songs on it," Tyler said at the concert, as reported by Rolling Stone.
This performance follows his announcement earlier this year that he planned to release a solo album rooted in country. Tyler actually grew up in rural New Hampshire, although he got his start in music in the small Boston music scene. "I grew up in the woods of New Hampshire... I have more country in me than people think," Tyler said when he announced the project last year.
Moving to Nashville last January has also had a huge effect on the rocker, in the last year alone he was played with country megastars such as Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley. His first country single on Big Machine Records, "Love Is Your Name," was released in May and written by Lindsay Lee and Eric Paslay, whom he met at the historic meeting spot Bluebird Cafe in musical epicenter Nashville.