When Patty Loveless released her bluegrass album, "Mountain Soul," in 2001, some scribes accused the veteran country singer of chasing trends. The "O Brother Where Art Thou?" soundtrack, which is made up of bluegrass music, found a niche in 2000, but Loveless wasn't following anything but her gut.
"I wasn't jumping on any bandwagon," Loveless said, calling from her Georgia home. "I grew up listening to bluegrass since my parents loved it. It was something I never forgot, and I was moved to make an album like 'Mountain Soul.' "
Loveless has been moved again. The laid-back entertainer is touring behind "Mountain Soul 2," which dropped in late September.
"I wanted to do it again," Loveless said. "But it wasn't just me. I think this album was made by popular demand. The fans wanted more 'Mountain Soul.' But it's not a copy of 'Mountain Soul.' Some of the elements are similar, but it stands on its own."
Loveless will showcase "Mountain Soul 2" during an acoustic set Saturday at the Orpheum Theatre.
On the album, Loveless, 52, doesn't replicate her 2001 release, which was strictly bluegrass. "Mountain Soul 2" is a relatively eclectic effort, including country classics, some originals and a couple of bluegrass tracks.
"It's a little different in terms of genres," Loveless explained. "But the feel of the songs are the same from this album as the first 'Mountain Soul.' To me, feel is important. It's also important having fun when you're making a record, and I had a great time with some of my favorite friends in this business."
Such acclaimed singers as Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Rebecca Lynn Howard lent their voices to the project. Bluegrass legend Del McCoury also played on a number of tracks.
"I've known Del for a long time, and he is perfect for 'Mountain Soul,' " Loveless said. "Del is bluegrass. He is the perfect person to sing with me. But this was the most fun project since it was so relaxed. The recording sessions were like having some friends jam with you in the great room of your house. There was no pressure. No egos, just a lot of fun."
The album is just another accomplishment in Loveless' quietly outstanding career. Loveless has charted more than 40 singles on the Billboard Country Hot Singles charts, including five number ones. Four of her 14 albums have gone platinum and two gold.
"I've had a healthy, stable career,"" Loveless said. "I've climbed the mountain many times in this industry. I've always walked down the mountain. I've never been pushed off of it. I've been extremely fortunate in this industry. I think part of the reason is because I've never chased after success. I've done what I've wanted to do and if I had success, well, that's great. I've always been true to myself, and that's what I'll always be."
If you go>
What: Singer Patty Loveless in concert
Where: Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway
When: 8 p.m. Sat.
How much: Tickets are $34.50 at Select-A-Seat outlets, www.selectaseat.com, and employee clubs. Charge by phone, 316-755-SEAT. Box office, 316-263-0884.
For more information, call 316-263-0884.