She's won nine Grammy Awards for her signature brand of country rock, but now Sheryl Crow is trying a new direction: '70s soul. Her new album, 100 Miles from Memphis, plays off the location of her hometown, Kennett, Mo., and the classic Memphis sound. She talks to TIME about music, Michael Jackson and family.
Why decide to make an album like this now?
Well, I just kept coming back to it. Having grown up so close to Memphis, that was really the mecca of music for me. Elvis Presley, Sun Studio a lot of music was influenced by what came out of Memphis.
It sounds a bit like an album of soul covers, but they're almost all original songs.
Actually, we started out recording a lot of covers, just to set the tone. We recorded enough to make two records and get a good start on a third.
Among them is the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back." Are you surprised by how strongly fans still feel about Michael?
I think his death kind of reintroduced us to the part of ourselves that believed in him for his artistry. Over the past 10 years, we'd all gotten really engaged in the tabloid circus that went on around him.
You've recently adopted a second boy. Is adoption a slippery slope? I'm sure Angelina Jolie at one point thought she would have only one or two kids.
I don't know what Angelina Jolie thinks, but I don't think anybody enters lightly into adoption. It's a full-life investment. I do have great resentment when people look at it as a press ploy.
Justin Timberlake and Keith Richards both show up on your album. Whom would you rather have as a babysitter?
That is tricky, I gotta say. Keith Richards is one of the smartest, most well-read people I've ever known. I'm sure Justin would be great, but Keith is all about family.