For one thing, the new disc will be almost all original material. Singer/guitarist Jeff Barbra says the Uncles, who have been working on the album at Music Row in Maryville since December, have finished the basic tracks for 10 songs, all written by Barbra and fellow Uncle Mike McGill. (They may throw an obscure cover song or an unrecorded track from one of their songwriter friends, Barbra says, but chances are good any extra tracks will be new to most listeners.)
The other difference between this album and Smashed Hits is that the band has been reduced to a five-piece since the departure of pedal steel player Brock Henderson, who left the band last fall.
“It’s going to be more acoustic,” Barbra says. “Not fully acoustic, but I’m switching between a Telecaster and an acoustic lead guitar. It’s a more acoustic dynamic, not full-blown electric instruments all the time. There are a lot of lyric-driven songs, and that leaves a lot of room for the vocals. It’ll be a cleaner record.”
Barbra says the as-yet-untitled new album should be out sometime in the spring.