Photo by Rob Shanahan
Get ready for some lukewarm water, because Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls is back. The 75-year-old legendary rocker has announced his first-ever solo album, Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing), set for an April 13th release via Twanky Records/BMG.
The poignant album finds Smalls contemplating the changes getting older brings to life. It’s “halfway between ‘rage against the dying of the light’ and trying to find the light,” Smalls describes in a press release. Fittingly, the record was made possible thanks to a grant from the newly established British Fund for Ageing Rockers.
But Smalls is not alone as he explores these heady concepts of time and death, as he’s gathered a massive group of guest musicians for Smalls Change (thanks, according to him, to a “pity fuck” mentality). The album features appearances by David Crosby, Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, Dweezil Zappa, Peter Frampton, Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins, Paul Shaffer, Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Steve Vai, Toto’s Steve Lukather, and even Jane Lynch, just to name a few.
On the lead single and title track, Smalls is joined by The Hungarian Studio Orchestra, Welsh singer Judith Owen (Harry Shearer’s wife), Don Henley guitarist Danny Kortchmar, and James Taylor drummer Russ Kunkel. Smalls says the track explains “why Lukewarm Water is no longer bracketed by Fire and Ice. A nod to what’s past, and a wink to what’s next.” Check it out via the video below.
Pre-orders for Smalls Change are available via PledgeMusic, where you can also purchase packages featuring autographs, T-shirts, and more. The tracklist with guest collaborators is below.
Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing) Tracklist:
01. Openture – (feat. The Hungarian Studio Orchestra)
02. Rock ‘n’ Roll Transplant – (feat. Steve Lukather (guitar, Toto), drum legends Jim Keltner (George Harrison) and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers))
03. Butt Call – (feat. Phil X (guitar, Bon Jovi) and Taylor Hawkins (drums, Foo Fighters))
04. Smalls Change – (feat. The Hungarian Studio Orchestra, Judith Owen (vocals) Danny Kortchmar (guitar, Don Henley) and Russ Kunkel (drums, James Taylor))
05. Memo To Willie – (feat. Donald Fagen (vocals), Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Larry Carlton (guitars, Steely Dan) and The Snarky Puppy Horns)
06. It Don’t Get Old – (feat. Peter Frampton (guitar, vocals) and Waddy Wachtel (guitar Keith Richards))
07. Complete Faith – (feat. The Hungarian Studio Orchestra)
08. Faith No More – (feat. The Hungarian Studio Orchestra and Todd Sucherman (drums, Styx))
09. Gimme Some (More) Money – (feat. Paul Shaffer (piano and organ), Waddy Wachtel (guitar) and David Crosby (vocals))
10. MRI – (feat. Dweezil Zappa (guitars))
11. Hell Toupee – (feat. The Hungarian Studio Orchestra)
12. Gummin the Gash – (feat. Steve Vai (guitar), Gregg Bisonnette (drums, Ringo Starr) and Jane Lynch (vocals))
13. She Puts the Bitch in Obituary – (feat. Richard Thompson (guitar) and Jane Lynch (vocals))
14. When Men Did Rock – (feat. Michael League (bass), Joe Satriani (guitar), Rick Wakeman (keyboards) and The Hungarian Studio Orchestra)
Smalls will also take the show on the road to perform with a number of orchestras across the US this spring and summer. Dubbed “Lukewarm Water Live: An Adventure in Loud Music”, the tour only has a handful of dates so far, though more are promised soon. See the current itinerary below.
Derek Smalls “Lukewarm Water Live: An Adventure in Loud Music” 2018 Tour Dates:
04/14 – New Orleans, LA @ Saenger Theater *
06/29 – Atlanta, GA @ Atlanta Symphony Hall #
TBD – Washington, DC @ Kennedy Center ^
* = w/ Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
# = w/ Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
^ = w/ National Symphony Orchestra