Robert Plant and Jessica Simpson
10/19/2007 at 02:40 PM EDT
who has been talking about recording a country album
, got to chat with a legend of rock 'n' roll – former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant – at a taping of CMT's Crossroads
near Nashville on Thursday night.
Simpson, 27, and Plant, 59, hung out backstage at the Lebanon, Tenn., studio where Plant was recording an episode of the show with Alison Krauss. (The two have an album together, Raising Sand,
due out on Tuesday.)
Simpson is gearing up to record a new album of her own – most likely a country record, which is why she's exploring Nashville, a friend of the singer's tells PEOPLE.
"She's prepping for her new album," says the source. "She's spending time there and figuring it out."
Simpson arrived at the taping with her father-manager, Joe Simpson, after spending a few days in town meeting with industry insiders. She had lunch at the Palm with John Rich of country music duo Big & Rich and also reportedly met with executives at Sony BMG.
Reporting by TIM NUDD, KC BAKER and EILEEN FINAN