Stevie Nicks takes new songs on the road

Earlier this year, Stevie Nicks embarked on one of the more interesting novelty tours in recent years, with fellow classic rock royalty Rod Stewart.

Nicks joked that she wasn’t really sure what to expect since she barely saw Stewart before their first show together.

“He’s not really a rehearser. He feels he’s already rehearsed for 33 years,” she said with a husky laugh.

But despite some slapdash elements to the experience, Stewart was “charming and fun and witty and English. I do well with English people,” said Nicks, an engaging conversationalist herself, in a recent chat with a handful of journalists.

Now, she’s back on the road for a monthlong tour of her own that comes to Chastain Park Aug. 15, and eager to share the songs from “In Your Dreams,” her first solo record in a decade, which arrived in May.

The toughest part about the Stewart jaunt, she said, was keeping her set to 75 minutes. A self-described talker, Nicks, 63, prefers to linger during a two-hour show, sharing stories with the audience about the origin of songs and sprinkling in new material amid standbys from her Fleetwood Mac and solo catalog such as “Edge of Seventeen,” “Dreams” and “Gold Dust Woman.”

At the end of May, she previewed her solo tour with a show at the Wiltern in Los Angeles and performed the majority of “In Your Dreams,” a format she intends to keep for this outing.

“The reviews were that the old songs were great, but there was a special light around the new songs,” she said.

Nicks produced and co-wrote much of “In Your Dreams” with Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics fame) and leaned on him and another old friend for inspiration.

“Dave, he’s the caterpillar on top of the crazy hookah in Tom Petty’s ‘Don’t Come Around Here No More’ video. He’s just that crazy, magic man,” Nicks said, unleashing another throaty laugh. “He’s the wildest guy I’ve ever known, and when you’ve been part of a duo, the spirit of Annie Lennox [Stewart's partner in the Eurythmics] and Lindsey Buckingham float with you.”

Speaking of Buckingham, the Fleetwood Mac guitarist-singer, with whom Nicks' name will be forever linked, appears on “In Your Dreams” as well, singing and playing guitar on “Soldier’s Angel,” a bracing exploration of the heart of warriors.

The song began as a poem in 2005, after Nicks made one of her numerous visits to the just-shuttered Walter Reed Army Medical Center in D.C. Nicks told people for years that one day it would be a song, but after several attempts to record it something was blocking her emotionally and mentally.

“I said, ‘We’ve got to call Lindsey.’ He listened to it for a week, then came to my house and we recorded it live in my entryway. He came back the next day and put more guitar on it and a second harmony,” she said. “Lindsey saved the day. That was my most revered and sacred song on the record.”

Nicks has a special relationship with the injured soldiers she visited frequently at Walter Reed, usually staying for 10 or 11 hours at a time and providing them with music-filled iPods.

“A lot of these kids didn’t even know who I was because they were so young, but that didn’t matter to me. I just wanted to give them music because it’s rehabilitation,” she said.

“[Music] would break the ice and they would open up to me and talk to me. I have many secrets that I carry. I probably know more about the war than most people, and their secrets are safe with me. It has been a life changer. I walked in there a rock star with very few problems and walked out of there a soldier’s mother.”

Concert preview

Stevie Nicks. 8 p.m. Aug. 15. $40-$75. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta. This show is a no-table setup. No coolers or carry-ins allowed. 1-800-745-3000, www.livenation.com.