The Eagles are planning to take flight with a long-awaited new album and a tour. Guitarist Joe Walsh tells Billboard.com that the album -- the Eagles' first full-length studio set since "The Long Run"

The Eagles are planning to take flight with a long-awaited new album and a tour. Guitarist Joe Walsh tells Billboard.com that the album -- the Eagles' first full-length studio set since "The Long Run" in 1979 -- is "almost out. We're just finishing vocals and mixing it. We're all finally signing off on it."

Walsh says that all of the band members -- himself, Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Timothy B. Schmit -- wrote songs for the album, which he says "go in some really, really new, different directions. It's hard to compare to anything that I hear out there now." For his songs, however, Walsh "went rock'n’roll," including one "extended" track with "a middle full of guitar statement" and another that's "full-on rock'n'roll. I didn't want us to be too ballad-y here. We need some stuff we can play live, so I made sure there was that element in the record."

Walsh says the band, which took this year off the road to hunker down on the album, plans to tour extensively in 2008.

The guitarist is hardly sitting at home, however. Though he's put the James Gang on ice until he has more time to dedicate to it, he's playing 13 solo shows in the next month, beginning tonight (July 31) in Saratoga, Calif. Walsh has recruited a band of well-credentialed young players such as Gia Ciambotti (Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams) and Drew Hester (Lisa Marie Presley, Foo Fighters), who he says "are really kicking me in the pants."

"I love the energy and the attitude of a younger band, especially on stage," Walsh says. "I'm less cautious and less ... professional, I guess. I just like to rock'n'roll, and they're making me want to do it more."

Walsh adds that he's jonesing a bit to do some solo recording again but, not surprisingly, says, "I don't think I would cancel being an Eagle and resurface with a solo career. I love being in the Eagles, and we're not really done yet."

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