Analog Man Joe Walsh rounds up some analog fans for blues supergroup

Joe Walsh and friends

By Barry Gilbert

How about a Joe Walsh supergroup?

The Eagles guitarist posted a Facebook photo last week that was picked up by multiple music blogs, showing an impressive group of musicians with him in the studio (above from left): blues man Keb Mo’, bassist/producer Don Was, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck bassist Tal Wilkenfeld, keyboardist Mike Finnegan, Walsh and his brother-in-law Ringo Starr, and another pretty fair drummer, Jim Keltner.

Walsh posted a second photo of himself with R&B icon Bill Withers.

In the post, Walsh said only: “Cooking up something here at Capitol Records. I think you’ll like it.” Wilkenfeld posted: “Thursdays in the office are usually pretty mellow. Like today … when I wrote a song with Bill Withers, Mick Jagger, Keb Mo’ & Joe Walsh. LOL.”

And that was it for hard information. However, in an interview last week in advance of his St. Louis show April 4 with Bob Seger, Walsh added some details. Here’s the Q&A:

Q: You teased something the other day about a project with Mick Jagger and Ringo and some others, can you tell us a little more about what you’re working on?

Walsh: Well, I just got this idea of rounding some people up and getting together and just recording. No overdubs. Dr. John came, a bunch of people, Kenny Wayne Shepherd played on some stuff, Robert Randolph was there and, much to my surprise, Mick came over. We did blues, basically we did blues and anything that came out of that general approach we did, too. I’ve got 12 things, and everybody … I didn’t tell anybody what to play. I’m not gonna tell Dr. John what to play, I’m not gonna tell Mick what to sing. So I just did my thing and some pretty amazing music came out of it.

Now first, I’m an Eagle, because the Eagles are starting in July with a whole new show and stage and lights and set and sound and all that. First I’m an Eagle. But I have this stuff in the can, and it’s really good, and it’s an analog album in terms of performance and capturing human performance. But it’s done with digital technology.

Q: So you’ll put something out?

Walsh: Oh yeah, be a shame not to.

Q: I saw Beck his last time through St. Louis, and Wilkenfeld was amazing, just amazing.

Walsh: (laughing) I know! I know! I know! This amazing bass comes out of this little 23-year-old girl, and I can’t figure it out. Nobody can. All the musicians sit there and go, what in the world is going on?

Walsh also talked about opening for Seger, which he says he’s more than happy to do. Seger is, after all, an Eagles associate through his connection to Glenn Frey, who played guitar and sang on “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” from Seger’s 1968 debut.

“Bob was a mentor to Glenn and told him, ‘You gotta write. If you wanna make it in this business, you gotta write your own music,’ ” Walsh recalls.

“Glenn said, ‘Yeah, but my songs stink.’ And Bob said, ‘Yeah, they will do that for a while till you learn how, but you should go to LA and get out of Detroit and start writing music.’ So Glenn did. … That’s all Bob’s fault!

“And then Bob wrote a couple of things, he co-wrote ‘New Kid in Town’ and ‘Heartache Tonight.’ We kind of called Bob in for a little shot of Seger into an Eagles song, that’s always a good thing. So he’s been one of the community for years.”

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