Sure, life's been good to Joe Walsh, but in the title track of his new album, he admits to being "an analog man in a digital world."
The playfully witty singer-songwriter-guitarist is set to release Analog Man, his first solo record since the George H.W. Bush administration, on June 5.
"It's been 20 years," Walsh notes. "I have a lot to say."
A decade in the making, the 10-track Fantasy/Concord album was produced by Walsh and Jeff Lynne. Nashville-based Tommy Lee James, who has penned hits for such acts as Taylor Swift and Reba McEntire, co-wrote some of the new songs.
Walsh previewed the album Feb. 2 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, playing and narrating a truncated show that included the title track and "Lucky That Way." He was joined on the latter by his brother-in-law Ringo Starr, who drums on the track as well. Lynne also briefly sat in for the set, which was bookended by Walsh solo classics "Life's Been Good" and "Rocky Mountain Way."
Analog Man is Walsh's first solo outing since 1992's Songs for a Dying Planet, which came out two years before hell froze over and his Eagles reunited. "I just really feel like it's all come together, and finally I feel like a complete person and a complete musician," he says of the new record. "I think there is some confidence in there that I never had. That's what I was hiding."
A native of Wichita, Kan., Walsh burst on to the national scene at the dawn of the 1970s with The James Gang. The trio released three albums in 17 months, which featured such enduring FM radio staples as "Funk #49" and "Walk Away," before he left in late 1971. Walsh released four solo albums (the first two with his band Barnstorm) before joining the Eagles in 1975. His first LP with that band, Hotel California, is among the 20 best-selling albums in U.S. history.
Walsh performed twice at the 54th annual Grammy Awards in February. He played guitar as Paul McCartney sang "My Valentine" and later joined Sir Paul, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl and others for a medley from The Beatles' Abbey Road album.
The Eagles have eight tour dates scheduled through early May, but Walsh has yet to announce any solo shows to promote Analog Man, his 11th solo studio album. The disc is due out the same day as Neil Young and Crazy Horse's Americana, whose release date was announced one day earlier.