In an interview with Rolling Stone, Henley described the name and title background on the record, "I'm associated with California a lot because of that other band that I play in, but I really and truly was born and raised in Cass County, Texas. I'm a Southerner and a Texan," he said. "I have ancestors in Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia. So this is a natural progression for me. It's not me trying to do the 'Don Henley country album.' It's who I am and where I come from."
“There’s a lot of Texas on this record. There are Cass counties in nine different states. But my Cass County is in the northeast corner of Texas, near Louisiana and Arkansas. It is a musical and cultural crossroads. Growing up there, I listened to the radio from Shreveport, the KWKH Louisiana Hayride. That was my country-music education.”
Music Row's Bobby Karl attended a listening party in Nashville this week and described some of the songs, "He first played the Tift Merritt song “Bramble Rose,” a mandolin waltz featuring Henely, Mick Jagger and Miranda Lambert. The breathtaking, steel-soaked ballad “The Cost of Living” co-stars Henley with Merle Haggard. “Take a Picture of This” has the throb and lush melody of a classic Henley solo outing. The Martina McBride duet “That Old Flame” rocks like a No. 1 stone smash. Trisha Yearwood is the harmony singer on the power ballad “Words Can Break Your Heart.” The Louvin Brothers chestnut “When I Stop Dreaming” drew loud applause for its arrangement as a duet with Dolly Parton. The shambling, stately, steady “Praying for Rain” has a chorus choir featuring Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Ashley Monroe and Yearwood. “Train in the Distance” is a rootsy, autbiographical outing with a background vocal by Lucinda Williams."
In a separate interview with Music Row's Beverly Keel, Henley went on about his guest stars, "I chose people whose work I respect, musically,” Henley commented, “people who can really sing when called upon to sing. I was flattered and flabberghasted when all of them said yes. People that I admire, that’s the kind of people I wanted on this record. It’s been 15 years since my last solo album: I believe in quality over quantity,” Henley said with a chuckle. “We started working on this record in 2010. I worked on it in between Eagles tours. The record’s been done for about a year now,” except for mixing and remixing its tracks. Henley co-produced it with his frequent songwriting collaborator Stan Lynch, who rose to fame as the drummer in Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers."