Classics Du Jour


Spinal Tap Bassist to Release All-star Album

Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls – also known in real life as the multi-talented actor/comedian/radio host Harry Shearer – has announced the release of his first solo album Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing) on April 13, 2018 via Twanky Records/BMG. Though calling it a solo album may not be quite accurate.

Smalls has recruited an impressive array of guests to bring his album to life including David Crosby, Peter Frampton, Steely Dan’s Donald Fagan, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dweezil Zappa and the Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins, to name a few. When asked how he was able to recruit so many high-profile musicians for the album he pithily replied, “Pity Fuck.”

In support of the album, Smalls will be mounting an orchestral tour titled Lukewarm Water Live: An Adventure in Loud Music. The first performance is scheduled for April 14, 2018 with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra at the Saenger Theater in New Orleans.

Full details of the tour have not yet been released but it will include stops at Atlanta’s Symphony Hall, with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center featuring the National Symphony Orchestra.

When asked about the new project Smalls described it as “halfway between ‘rage against the dying light’ and trying to find the light.” Check out the track list, with Smalls’ own descriptions of the songs, below.

Derek Smalls – “Smalls Change” Music Video

Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing) Track List (With Descriptions)

1. “Openture” (featuring the Hungarian Studio Orchestra)
“The philosophy of this record, expressed in fewer words than I’ve taken to almost describe it.”

2. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Transplant” (featuring Steve Lukather, Jim Keltner and Chad Smith)
“Whatever might be ailing you, rock ‘n’ roll is the cure. Ask Dr. Derek!”

3. “Butt Call” (featuring Phil X, Taylor Hawkins)
“In one lifetime, the telephone has gone from a miracle to a pain in the arse.”

4. “Smalls Change” (featuring the Hungarian Studio Orchestra, Judith Owen, Danny Kortchmar and Russ Kunkel)
“Why Lukewarm Water is no longer bracketed by Fire and Ice. A nod to what’s past, and a wink to what’s next.”

5. “Memo To Willie” (featuring Donald Fagen, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, Larry Carlton and the Snarky Puppy Horns)
“An urgent missive to the Honorable Member: continued tumescence, if you please.”

6. “It Don’t Get Old” (featuring Peter Frampton and Waddy Wachtel)
“Life on the road, an endless series of pointless encounters. What could be better?”

7. “Complete Faith” (featuring the Hungarian Studio Orchestra)
“A musical interruption.”

8. “Faith No More” (featuring the Hungarian Studio Orchestra and Todd Sucherman)
“As I get older, I look back more fondly on all the people I’ve known. Except for Ian.”

9. “Gimme Some (More) Money” (featuring Paul Shaffer, Waddy Wachtel and David Crosby)
“Time and technology change everything, except the need for change.”

10. “MRI” (featuring Derek with Dweezil Zappa)
“Everybody’s going to have one, eventually. It’s just another ride. To hell, but still…”

11. “Hell Toupee” (featuring the Hungarian Studio Orchestra
“Think Satan doesn’t have dark thoughts about his appearance as he ages? Think again.”

12. “Gummin the Gash” (featuring Steve Vai, Gregg Bisonnette and Jane Lynch)
“Losing your teeth closes one door, and opens another. A celebration of the meeting of two toothless cavities.”

13. “She Puts the Bitch in Obituary” (featuring Richard Thompson and Jane Lynch)
“A hymn to womanhood in all her splendor.”

14. “When Men Did Rock” (featuring Michael League, Joe Satriani, Rick Wakeman and the Hungarian Studio Orchestra

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