The Looooong Overdue Return of Stan Lynch And, Oh Yeah, Don Henley Has A New Album Out!

Hey, Don Henley has a new solo album!


I know, I know, that's the trained response to just about anyone or anything related to that most popular of bands that nobody admits to liking. It's not cool to like the Eagles, which works out well for me because I have never been all that hopped up about the Eagles, but I do admit to liking quite a bit of Don Henley's solo work over the years.

While "Dirty Laundry" may sound positively quaint today, that synth lick and biting social commentary remains just as catchy and cutting to these ears. Additionally, the musically evocative "Sunset Grill" and "Boys of Summer" proved that he actually had quite a bit to say outside of his full-time band.

Sure, he's cantankerous and bitter and never forgets a slight, but couldn't the same be said for a lot of musical greats? Knowing that he does not suffer fools well just makes me like him even more, even if he can be a little petty at times.

Or perhaps "a little Petty" is more accurate, as Henley's latest solo effort Cass County features longtime collaborator and former Heartbreakers drummer Stan Lynch.

(Lynch with petty "back in the day")

Lynch, of course, jumped ship from a band sinking quickly into nostalgia for quite the unexpected detour into songwriting. which has become quite the successful labor of love for Lynch. In addition to co-writing nine songs on Henley's 2000 solo effort Inside Job and eleven on the just-released Cass County, Lynch co-wrote the #1 Tim McGraw country hit "Back When" and has collaborated with everyone from Toto and Eddie Money to Sister Hazel and The Mavericks.

There's just something about Lynch's style that has clicked with Henley's from the moment they began working together in '94. It's almost a shame that they've only got two records to show for it, as Henley's "fast lane" career has slowed considerably in the new millennium.

But, with Lynch providing the necessary propulsion, even the grumpy old guy on the album cover is capable of a vocal turn that is almost unrecognizable, as Henley does on the topical drought ballad "Pray For Rain" and the slyly wily "That Old Flame" with Martina McBride.

Is it a memorable album, you ask?

Hmm, well, since you asked, I'd have to say no, it is not. Much of the album sounds like textbook boilerplate assembly line Nashville country because, doggone it, that's where most of it was recorded and, while Henley may have been thrilled to work with such professional musicians, the end result sounds a little generic.

In fact, the very cover of the album, from Henley's "Hey you kids get out of my yard" snarl to the Dickies work jacket and old work truck that probably shows up in black and white here so you don't recognize it as the same truck on all the other country albums. There's probably a dude down Nashville way who makes a good living letting folks pose with his pickup for their album covers. 

Wonder if he was surprised the day Don Henley showed up?

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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