Actress Elizabeth McGovern is set to embark on her first U.S. tour with her band Sadie & The Hotheads.

The American Downton Abbey star and her bandmates formed the group in 2007 and toured Europe earlier this year (14) as the opening act for Mike & The Mechanics - and now she's ready to head home and face American audiences.

She tells the Associated Press, "I think it's coming at the right time since we slowly built experience with each other.

"I feel like we're more ready than we've ever been... I go there with more confidence than I would have in the past."

The folk-rock band band will set out on a 10-city tour beginning on 4 December (14) in Washington.

She continues, "It's a slightly funny experience for fans of the show to come hear the music because it's such a different world to the show (Downton Abbey) itself.

"When we first started touring there would be a lot of people carrying Downtown Abbey books... and I could see a look of surprise on their faces because it isn't what you expect. I mean it's not a classical quartet of violins."