album photos

Gerry Beckley
Blue Élan Records 2024

Gerry Beckley Solo Album

My Life
Well Worn Shoes
Everybody's Talkin'
Where There's A Will
Even If Tomorrow
Red And Blue
One Lit Window

This is Gerry's 10th solo album and features 12 new songs which were released on June 28, 2024. It's available on Blue Élan Records. The album cover photo was taken by Gerry's son, Joe.

With America currently on an open-ended hiatus from touring, Beckley found time to go through some of the songs he had put away for a rainy day. Beckley had a lot to choose from -- chronologically, stylistically, topically.

The debut single, "Crazy," captures the raw essence of longing and the bittersweet ache of separation. With its heartfelt lyrics and evocative melody, the song paints a vivid portrait of the complexities of love and loss. Dating back more than 10 years, "Crazy" was written between breaks of America's then-grueling tour schedule.

Working with longtime producer and collaborator, Jeff Larson, Beckley explains: "Jeff and I found it on a hard drive, and I thought, 'That's pretty good. Gimme some time,'" remembers Beckley, who maintains studios in his two residences of Venice, California, and Sydney, Australia. "So, I went in and just did a bunch of extra stuff, layered it up, and it came out great. But it was one of those songs that I'd forgotten about." Beckley also likens it to the America smash "Sister Golden Hair," "in that it's not about anybody in particular. There's not a relationship I'm dancing around. But it's just themes that I've had in my head."

For the album, Beckley says there was a pragmatic reason for putting his own name as the title for his 10th solo outing. "There wasn't an obvious title that was leaning in its favor, and I've never done a self-titled album, so it felt like, OK, this might be it," he says.

Beckley plays the bulk of the instruments on 12 tracks but gets help from a core group of players that includes former Chicago bassist Jason Scheff, guitarist Steve Fekete, drummer Brian Young and backing vocalist Brian Eichenberger. Nick Lane and Matt Combs, also longtime musical fellow travelers, arranged horn and string parts, respectively.

"I tend to do things in layers," says Beckley, who mixed the album himself. He cites influences such as Tom Petty's Wildflowers and, more recently, The 1975. "I've been kind of dipping back into the Wall of Sound stuff and using more echoes and just making it bigger. It might not sound like that at first, but if you were to put some headphones on and listen you start to notice little things that make the songs work."

Gerry Beckley continues a musical path that's now in its seventh decade and, in Beckley's mind, a continuing conversation between a songwriter and his audience. "I'm proud of all (the albums)," he says. "But I really like this album a lot. I think the sum of all the parts is really great. And I can't wait to do more."

Last Revised: 7 July 2024