Madonna, Gwyneth, Lisa Marie Presley: All-American girls gone Brit-crazy. For Presley, there's one particular aspect of being an Anglophile that she likes: the local pub.

 

"There are lots of pubs near where we live in Sussex, but there's one that's become my local," says Presley. "I love that I can walk in there and see everyone in the village. I never got that social aspect of it until I lived here. I love to go in and say hello to people. And I love Guinness."

 

The Memphis belle's first new album in seven years, the rootsy Americana set "Storm and Grace," is being hailed as a return to her Southern roots, but after her last tour, five years ago, all Presley wanted was to ditch them.

 

"I didn't feel like doing much of anything for a while,"?she says. "I am a writer at heart. I felt that if I was in a different place and got rid of all the things I knew that I'd start writing again. I had to leave everyone and everything I knew behind in order to write."

 

Presley co-wrote the album in England with several contributors, including two Brits: Pulp guitarist Richard Hawley, who's also a solo artist with a Southern twang to his music; and Ed Harcourt, a brilliant melodicist and songwriter.

"It was really my husband's idea," says Presley of the hook-ups. Her husband is guitarist/producer Michael Lockwood, who also lent a hand. "He knows more about musicians and that kind of thing."

Bring T-Bone to the table




"Storm and Grace" is produced by 12-time Grammy Award-winner T Bone Burnett, a master of Americana.

"I am a fan of his work, he's done so many great records," says Presley, who manages enthusiastic praise without gushing. "I sent him some demos and I was really hoping he'd want to work with me. He got back to me so quickly. I was so happy to work with him."