Ben Folds worried he wouldn't be able to come up with music good enough for Nick Hornby's lyrics.

The pop jazz pianist has worked with Oscar nominated screen writer Nick on a new project called 'Lonely Avenue', in which Ben wrote music to the 'About A Boy' writer's words - but he was conscious he may not make the Grade.

Ben told Billboard.com: "With Nick, my biggest fear was he would send me great lyrics and I wouldn't be able to do anything good with them. I always had complete confidence in him."

The writer sent some 30 songs to Ben from which 11 tracks were chosen. Subjects covered on the album include fictional stories and songs about or inspired by blues singer Doc Pomus and Levi Johnston, the father of US politician Sarah Palin's grandson.

'Rockin' The Suburbs' singer Ben added that the 'Lonely Avenue' project was borne from his "instinct" to make music with "people who aren't necessarily musicians".

He explained: "There's such a wide world of things you can do with music.

"I feel like I can get a football player and have him tell his life story and turn it into music and I think it would be unique."

The pair have previously worked together before, when Ben asked Nick to write lyrics to the song 'That's Me Trying' which appeared on William Shatner's 2004 album 'Has Been' which was produced by Ben.

'Lonely Avenue' is released on September 28.