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Joe Walsh Ready To Rock, Eagles Or Not

Of the Oakland Press

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You can’t keep a good man down — especially when there’s a guitar in his hands. That’s the rationale Joe Walsh offers for his solo tour this summer, as he takes a break from his regular gig in the Eagles, who took 2007 off the road in order to finally finish a new studio album they’ve been working on for several years.

“To get that done and get it out, we didn’t tour this year, and I miss it,” says Walsh, 59, who was born in Kansas and made his name with in Ohio with the James Gang before going solo in 1971 and then joining the Eagles in 1976. “I need to go out and play some shows and keep my chops up.

“That’s the main reason. I just really miss playing.”

Walsh, who toured with a revived James Gang last summer, says he’s particularly enjoying his current backing band, a group of “Southern California musicians who are young and are pretty familiar with my stuff.” They’ve gotten him to pull out material he’s never played live before, such as “At the Station” from the 1978 album “But Seriously Folks ..,” and are generally “kicking me in the pants,” he says with a laugh.

“I love the energy and the attitude of a younger band, especially on stage,” Walsh says. “I’m less cautious and less ... professional, I guess. I just like to rock ’n’ roll, and they’re making me want to do it more.”

Walsh adds that he’s jonesing a bit to do some solo recording again, but with the Eagles album finally due this fall and extensive tour planned for 2008, he’s not about to take wing from the group.

“I don’t think I would cancel being an Eagle and resurface with a solo career,” Walsh says. “I love being in the Eagles, and we’re not really done yet.”

Joe Walsh and JD & the Straight Shot perform 8 p.m. Wednesday (August 15th) at Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester Hills. Tickets are $49.50 pavilion, $20 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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