"The last record was about addiction, and this record is about recovery," says the Oscar-nominated artist. "It takes place in the early Seventies just before the end of the Vietnam War. There's two people dating, and the guy gets sent over to Vietnam briefly and comes back and has a drug problem."
Due in March, the concept record will include "King of the Jailhouse" and "Going Through the Motions," two songs also featured on Mann's Live at St. Ann's Warehouse CD and DVD, due November 2nd.
Fellow songwriter Joe Henry is producing King. Their conversations clarified the album's unifying theme and sent Mann scurrying back to expand some of the tracks.
"I've been working on songs that were already finished to make them interesting for me," Mann says. "In an atmosphere where music is becoming more disposable, I want my stuff to have more meaning."