Harry Shearer, who was part of the comedy team that brought a faux-metal band to life in the 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap has revealed that he is once again portraying the character of bassist Derek Smalls for the release of his debut solo album – Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing).
The 14-track album, which was produced by CJ Vanston (Spinal Tap, Rodney Crowell), will be released on April 13th.
For his first album without the help of David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel, Smalls has recruited an all-star collaborative cast of musicians. It will feature the likes of Peter Frampton, Donald Fagen, Dweezil Zappa, Taylor Hawkins, Chad Smith, Rick Wakeman, Steve Lukather, Joe Satriani, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Steve Vai. The album is being described as “poignant and oftentimes furious contemplation on aging that explores the passing of time and all things loud. With styles that cross the gamut of musical genres.”
Shearer has also announced that he will head out for the road as Smalls for U.S. tour dubbed Lukewarm Water Live: An Adventure in Loud Music, which will see the bassist backed by a full orchestra at each stop. The tour will kick off on April 14 with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra at the Saenger Theater in New Orleans, and currently includes stops at the Atlanta Symphony Hall with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on June 29 and an appearance with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Additional dates will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Here's the tracklist, along with the guests on each song:
- Openture – Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Transplant – Derek with Steve Lukather (guitar, Toto), drum legends Jim Keltner (George Harrison) and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
- Butt Call – Derek with Phil X (guitar, Bon Jovi) and Taylor Hawkins (drums, Foo Fighters)
- Smalls Change – Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra, Judith Owen (vocals) Danny Kortchmar (guitar, Don Henley) and Russ Kunkel (drums, James Taylor)
- Memo To Willie – Derek with Donald Fagen (vocals), Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Larry Carlton (guitars, Steely Dan) and The Snarky Puppy Horns
- It Don’t Get Old – Derek with Peter Frampton (guitar, vocals) and Waddy Wachtel (guitar Keith Richards)
- Complete Faith – Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra
- Faith No More – Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra and Todd Sucherman (drums, Styx)
- Gimme Some (More) Money – Derek with Paul Shaffer (piano and organ), Waddy Wachtel (guitar) and David Crosby (vocals)
- MRI – Derek with Dweezil Zappa (guitars)
- Hell Toupee – Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra
- Gummin the Gash – Derek with Steve Vai (guitar), Gregg Bisonnette (drums, Ringo Starr) and Jane Lynch (vocals)
- She Puts the Bitch in Obituary – Derek with Richard Thompson (guitar) and Jane Lynch (vocals)
- When Men Did Rock – Derek with Michael League (bass), Joe Satriani (guitar), Rick Wakeman (keyboards) and The Hungarian Studio Orchestra
Watch the music video for the album’s lead single “Smalls Change,”