Don Henley Previews Star-Studded ‘Cass County’ Album
After five years, Don Henley’s Cass County, is completed. Although no release date has been set, the Eagles’ drummer/singer did a press event in Nashville, where he previewed eight of its songs and answered questions about the new record.
Named after the Texas locale where he was born and raised, Cass County was mostly recorded in Nashville and features contributions from several generations of country stars, including Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Alison Krauss and Ashley Monroe. There’s also a duet with Dolly Parton on the Louvin Brothers’ “When I Stop Dreaming,” and Mick Jagger adds vocals and harmonica to “Bramble Rose.” Still, as Rolling Stone reports, Henley doesn’t consider it to be his “country album.”
"I'm associated with California a lot because of that other band that I play in, but I really and truly was born and raised in Cass County, Texas. I'm a Southerner and a Texan," he said. "I have ancestors in Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia. So this is a natural progression for me. It's not me trying to do the 'Don Henley country album.' It's who I am and where I come from."
Henley co-wrote a lot of the material with Stan Lynch, the former drummer for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with whom he has often collaborated over the years.
"He and I both have an abiding appreciation for rock 'n' roll and country music, and the history of it. I think that's what's missing from a lot of records today," Henley said of Lynch. "They haven't gone to school on the older stuff, and gone back to the early days of the genre. So, we do that; we talk about records and production and players. You've got to live and breathe this stuff. It's not a hobby. It's a calling. It's something that we love doing."
Cass County is Henley’s first solo record since 2000’s Inside Job.
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