By Kyle Anderson
Updated August 16, 2011 at 03:35 PM EDT

Jeff Bridges’ musical pedigree was cemented well before he put out an album or even won an Oscar for his portrayal of a down-and-out country star in the film Crazy Heart.

Some thirteen years ago, The Big Lebowski‘s Dude dug on Creedence but hated the Eagles. Now that is country strong.

In any event, Bridges got his band (and his beard) up early this morning to pay a visit to Today to chat with Matt Lauer and play “What a Little Bit of Love Can Do,” the opening track from his new album, which hits store shelves today.

He told Lauer that the song (which was written by former Kris Kristofferson collaborator Stephen Bruton) was one of the tunes considered for inclusion in Crazy Heart, and it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to hear the song coming out of Bad Blake.

Check out Bridges’ early-morning honky-tonkin’ after the jump.

The interview before the performance is delightfully loopy, as Bridges’ every-dude persona shines through Lauer’s strangely reverent questions. Among the revelations: Bridges doesn’t care about winning a Grammy; he called himself a musician long before he wrote or performed anything; and putting out an album has nothing to do with a bucket list.

(As an aside: Can we all agree that The Bucket List was a terrible movie and that we should no longer allow it to infiltrate our lives? If we’re all going to keep invoking skydiving geriatrics as some sort of testament to the power of the human spirit, then I’m going to keep yelling “I love being a turtle!” every time I thwart Master Shredder. Thanks for listening.)