Joe Walsh back with a whole lot to say


Joe Walsh calls his new album "Analog Man," a name a lot of people can relate to even if they aren't yet 64.

But as the guitarist balances the Eagles with his first solo career in 20 years and a Saturday show at the Palms, he is kinder to the reality of digital recording than he is to a digital life.

"I'm not saying analog's better," Walsh says of the former. However, "the way (digital) records are made sacrifices the magic of a human performance. With digital technology you can fix anything. There's a real temptation for a musician to fix everything because you can.

"The magic of the human performance is the stuff we love about classic radio and classic rock 'n' roll. It wasn't perfect, but we love it."

So on "Analog Man," Walsh says he "went back and looked at the way I used to make records a long time ago and rediscovered a lot of stuff I had forgotten about, and went back to that." Little tricks, such as using acoustic guitars in the background of an electric lead for a percussive effect.

But Walsh turns his famous satiric wordplay on digital living. "We're all spending more time in this virtual world, and our bodies are like sitting in chairs, waiting for our minds to come back," he says. "It's really changing everything."

Walsh is unapologetic about making an age-appropriate album for fans who have hung in there with him, some from the early '70s days of the James Gang.

"I listened to a lot to what's going on (now) and I didn't hear a whole lot that really gave me any direction," he says.

Eventually he decided, "Let's make a Joe Walsh album the way I know, for the people who have been with me the whole ride."

"I had a lot to say and a lot of ideas," he says. "To me it wasn't just another album, it was like a fresh start."

Since he last recorded outside the Eagles, "I'm 18 years sober and I'm really happily married and I got a lot to say. And I think the album will illustrate a whole bunch of that."

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

 

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