Amidst touring with the Eagles and this weekend's Poco reunion at the Stagecoach festival in Indio, Calif., Timothy B. Schmit is putting the finishing touches on "Expando," his first solo album in eight years.
The singer and bassist tells Billboard.com that the album, which he plans to release in the fall, is comprised entirely of original songs and features a guest list that includes the pairing of Dwight Yoakam and Kid Rock plus Graham Nash, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Keb' Mo', Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Van Dyke Parks and The Band's Garth Hudson.
"I'm really, really happy with this because for the first time I feel like it's totally me," Schmit says. "I wrote the whole thing. I did it at my home studio, and I play as much on it as possible. For the first time I think it's really more me, really what I represent. It's kind of hard to describe, but I would say in many cases it's much more raw than anything I've ever done before."
Schmit adds that he had little trouble lining up guests to be part of "Expando." "It's pretty great because I didn't even go through management to get most of these guys," he says. "I would call these people myself and just set it all up. Everybody came to my house, my studio, and it was really, really great. I thought, 'Why not just try asking some of these people that I really admire? What's the worst that could happen -- they might say 'no,' and some (others) did, but the people I mentioned were all sitting here in my studio and had a lot of fun."
And although he included his Eagles bandmates -- including former guitarist Don Felder -- on 2001's "Feed the Fire," Schmit wanted to put a bit of distance between them this time. "I just decided I was going to do this myself, with other people," he explains, "not because there's anything weird going on -- there's not. But it's not the Eagles. It's just me, for better or for worse. It's been a really joyous experience, and it's been taking long time because I have been so busy with the band -- and that is not a complaint."
The Eagles will be keeping Schmit busy in the future, too. After a May 9 show in Sandy, Utah, the group wings to Europe for a tour starting May 29 in Sweden. But Schmit isn't predicting whether he'll find his way into the studio again with the Eagles, whose Grammy-winning 2007 "The Long Road Out of Eden" was the group's first studio release in 28 years.
"We're working so much right now on the road that I don't see any (recording) in the near future," Schmit says. "Do I think it will happen someday? You just never know. Right now I just work on my own project when I'm home between tours."