Billy Ray Cyrus, Phil Vassar Forming Supergroup?

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Billy Ray Cyrus photo courtesy of Walt Disney Records.


April 14, 2009 — Billy Ray Cyrus is appearing in a new album and a new movie, but he might soon be featured in a new supergroup as well. Might, however, is the operative word.

Songwriter Jeffrey Steele — who was a judge on last summer’s edition of "Nashville Star," which Billy Ray hosted — told Dial-Global they’re developing a band with Phil Vassar and pop/rock singer John Waite under the working name of Brother Clyde. Despite their individual schedules, the four musicians are planning to begin rehearsals soon, Jeffrey said, though the stylistic direction for the band wasn’t made clear.

But there’s some doubt that Brother Clyde is little more than chatter. Phil’s spokeswoman says the idea was talked about in a songwriting session, but that’s as far as it went.

Jeffrey, known for penning such songs as "What Hurts The Most" and "Love Is A Beautiful Thing," shared a Golden Globe nomination with Billy Ray’s daughter, Miley Cyrus, this year for "I Thought I Lost You," which they co-wrote for the movie Bolt.

"I've known Billy since back in the day, back in the early 90's, and I've known Miley since she was born," Jeffrey told Dial-Global. "She's very talented, and she's got a great family, that's for sure."

The supergroup concept has not been tried often in country music. Two groups — the Desert Rose Band and Southern Pacific — had a good run in the 1980s by assembling musicians with lengthy histories that included such acts as the Byrds, the Doobie Brothers and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Neither act entered into its first album, however, with as many well-known individuals as Brother Clyde would boast.

John Waite, in particular, has been down the collaborative road before. He and Alison Krauss teamed up several years ago for a remake of his 1984 pop hit "Missing You" and got a Grammy nomination for the effort. He was also the lead singer on the 1989 single "When I See You Smile" for Bad English. The group teamed him with several members of his ex-band the Babys and former Journey guitarist Neal Schon.

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