Although Don Henley is busy prepping for the upcoming Eagles tour, he took time out to talk about his upcoming solo project, called Cass County, which is his first new album in 13 years, and will be released in September. Cass County, which is Henley's fifth solo album, was co-produced by Henley's longtime collaborator, former Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers drummer, Stan Lynch.
Henley spoke to Jam! Music and shed some light on the album's title and back-story: "That's the name of the rural county I come from in northeast Texas. The album was recorded mostly in Nashville, with some additional recording done in Texas and California. The material on it is a reflection of a part of my musical foundation -- songs I heard on the radio and on my parents' record player in the '50s and '60s."
Although the album has one foot planted firmly in the past -- Henley maintains that the album is relevant for his audience today, explaining, "It's not exactly a 'retro' album, but neither does it reflect much of what's going on in 'modern' music. It's primarily a record for grown-ups -- people who've done some living. It explores the landscape of memory and experience. There are a few cover songs on the album, but most of the content is new, original material."
Henley went on to add: "The mood of the country has changed since the '60s. I think there's always a place for a little social commentary -- after all, that is one of the basic principles of rock, folk, blues and country music -- but you can't hit people over the head with it; you can comment, but you can't preach."
A while back Don Henley appeared on VH1 and explained the harsh realities of the music business these days: "It's tough in this business. Y'know, if you're a writer, for instance, a novelist, or a painter, you are sort of allowed to have peaks and valleys in your career. In rock n' roll, seldom are you afforded the chance to make a mistake. I mean, maybe one album, if your second or third album doesn't do as well as your first album, y'know, then they'll stick with you. But if you stay out of the charts too long, or if you don't measure up to a certain sales figure, then you get, in the term in the industry, you get dropped."
The Eagles will kick off their next set of shows on May 23rd at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Photo Courtesy of PRPhotos.com