Tracy Lawrence
Tracy Lawrence will perform Friday in the grandstand of the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds.

Country singer Tracy Lawrence is doing several things differently with the release of his new album, "The Singer."

Initially, it's only available from Lawrence's website and music sites. Eventually he'll release a new single to radio.

"To tell you the truth, I got the album out before the single so I could fund the promotion of it," said Lawrence, whose performance Friday at the Mississippi River Motorcycle Rally kicks off a monthlong tour. "It's paying its own way."

The 43-year-old singer says he's seen all positive reviews of the album, which he hopes to release in hard copy this fall.

He rushed some hard copies into production for last week's Country Music Association Music Festival in Nashville.

"I haven't had new product out in over two years, so I pushed real hard to get this done so I could drop it at CMA Music Fest so I could deliver it to my fans," he said.

The album has 10 new songs and two remakes of his hits "Find Out Who Your Friends Are" and "Paint Me a Birmingham."

All are acoustic-based and what Lawrence calls "earthy."

"The last couple of years I've been doing these stripped-down acoustic shows and I've got a lot of great comments from the fans about how much more they like the presentation," he said. "They feel much more connected to you."

"I felt like if I did it right, it would really translate into a project they'd really like," he said.