Don Felder invited many guests to keep him company on “American Rock ‘n’ Roll”.
The ex-Eagles guitarist’s latest album, released in 2019, features guest appearances from Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, ex-Rush Axman Alex Lifeson, Bon Jovi alum Richie Sambora and guitar wizard Joe Satriani. The record stands in stark contrast to previous Felder releases, on which he handled all the guitars.
“On the first two solo records, I didn’t have the fun and excitement of playing with other people,” said Felder, who is performing this weekend at the Rock, Ribs & Ridges Festival in County Sussex. “This time I decided to have a studio party with a group of friends and it was awesome. Some people showed up remotely, and some flew to my studio in San Francisco or live in nearby. Slash lives just down the street. He said, ‘What do you want me to do?’ I said, ‘You’re Slash. Just be you.’
The Guns N’ Roses six-stringer laid down a searing solo on the disc’s opening title track. Other highlights of Felder’s pals on “American Rock ‘n’ Roll” include Sambora lighting up the fretboard on “Limelight,” Lifeson’s passionate tracks on “Charmed,” and Satriani’s blinding runs on “Rock You.”
Felder’s passionate guitar work is evident on “Hearts on Fire,” backed by a party riff and a fat chorus. His renowned acoustic playing takes center stage with a romantic twist on “Little Latin Lover.”
The song “American Rock ‘n’ Roll” spans decades, with Felder name-checking everyone from Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam.
“I actually went to Woodstock,” Felder said. “I saw Janice and Jimi and all these amazing people, and it made an incredible impression on me. I also love modern rock ‘n’ roll. I picked a few people I looked up to and made them a wink and a nod.
The album cover features Felder’s classic white double neck guitar, best known for its use on the Eagles rock classic “Hotel California”.
“I kind of identify with this guitar in particular and it has earned its place in history,” he said. “There is a correlation between the instrument and the music.”
Felder is particularly proud that the guitar was part of the “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan in 2019.
“There were every influential guitar in rock ‘n’ roll history on display,” he said. “Clapton, Hendrix and just all the instruments of these iconic musicians. On the opening day of the exhibition, I was one of the performers and there, in the very front row, right at my feet, is Jimmy Page , sitting there looking at me. I thought, ‘Oh Lord, don’t let me make a mistake.’ It was my first time meeting him and I told him how nervous I was and he laughed.
The story continues under the gallery of a previous performance.
Felder’s solo albums have been rare. His debut album, “Airborne,” was released in 1983. His second effort, “Road to Forever,” was released in 2012. Long tours and busy schedules took precedence over studio work, he said. declared.
“It’s really hard to go on the road for two or three weeks, come home, go straight to the studio and hit the road again,” he said. “Then you have to catch all these other artists when you’re in town. It becomes a complex coordination process.
“But I’m constantly writing,” Felder said. “I’ve finished seven songs right now, and I’d like to write three or four more, and the plan is to release a new album next summer.”
Go: Don Felder, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25, Rock, Ribs & Ridges Festival, Sussex County Fairgrounds, 37 Plains Road, Augusta. Reserved seating is $95 (includes one-day admission) to $265 (includes weekend pass). Lawn seats are $55 (includes $155 one-day admission (includes weekend pass). In addition to Felder, the festival features Dave Mason, Molly Hatchet, Jim Messina and d other acts. More information at 973-882-8240 or rockribsandridges.com.