He may be from Boston by way of Yonkers, N.Y., but there's a lot more country in Aerosmith's “Demon of Screamin'” than most folks realize.
Steven Tyler listened to country music when he was a kid, he has family ties in Oklahoma through his ex-wife Teresa Barrick, he used to spend time in rural Sequoyah County prowling the countryside with his kids, and he's performed duets on three occasions with Checotah's own country superstar Carrie Underwood.
The latest Tyler-Underwood team-up, “Can't Stop Lovin' You,” can be heard on Aerosmith's “Music From Another Dimension,” the band's first studio album of new, original material since 2001's “Just Push Play.”
The LP is due out Tuesday, and Tyler is looking forward to returning to Oklahoma Thursday, when Aerosmith kicks off the second leg of its “Global Warming Tour” at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Unfortunately, Underwood won't be there to harmonize with the bad boy from Boston.
“Believe it or not, Carrie and myself, our relationship had nothing to do with ‘American Idol,'” Tyler said in a recent teleconference with journalists from across the country.
Underwood's career was launched when she won the “American Idol” competition in 2005. Tyler — to the dismay of fellow Aerosmith band members — became a judge on the reality show for the 2011 and '12 seasons. Tyler announced his departure from the show in July.
The Aerosmith frontman and the Checotah native first were paired during the 2011 Academy of Country Music Awards, and their performance of “Undo It” and “Walk This Way” was one of the night's highlights. In February, the two were teamed again to perform a medley of “Just a Dream” and “Dream On” on the special “CMT Crossroads: Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood From the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam.”
That one brought them a nomination for CMT Performance of the Year. They didn't win, but that didn't stop Tyler from tapping Underwood for the new duet.
“It really stemmed from Marti Frederiksen, who I co-wrote the song with,” Tyler said. “He wrote ‘Undo It' with her. So actually it was Marti who, three years ago, and Kara (DioGuardi), who was an ‘Idol' judge, said why don't you just be one of the judges on ‘Idol'? and so after talking to Marti about it I went away for a stint somewhere (in rehab) for a little while to get in touch with my wild-a- - self.
“And I came out and we wrote this song, ‘Can't Stop Lovin' You,' which was going to be on my solo record. Marti and I also wrote ‘It Feels So Good Loving You.' And so I was on that roll with that side. It was going to be something for my solo stuff, but I showed this song to the band and one of the guys in the band said, ‘You're singing it too country.'
“I said, ‘Well, that's how I wrote it.' I kind of wrote it like I did ‘Crying.' There was a time when I was so brokenhearted I evoked my country roots, which I think a lot of people don't realize I'm from the Everly Brothers. I'm not from Elvis.”