New Gregg Rolie LP to Feature Journey and Ringo Starr Bandmates
Sonic Ranch, produced by Gregg's son Sean Rolie with Chris "Frenchie" Smith and Daniel Sahad, is due on Oct. 11. Check out "What About Love," the advance single, below.
"The song was inspired by Ringo Starr and his message of peace and love,” Rolie said in a news release. "I had started writing it, and I would and play around with it at sound checks with Ringo. It sounded really good, so I took it home, found the bass line and Sean produced and engineered it. There’s 15 lead vocals on it. Sean played the guitar solo and said, 'It's a little out of tune.' I said, 'It's perfectly out of tune. Let's go!'"
Toto's Steve Lukather, who's been part of Starr's band with Rolie since 2012, sits in for "Give Me Tomorrow" and "They Want It All." Two other Santana bandmates also appear on Sonic Ranch: drummer Michael Shrieve and bassist Alphonso Johnson. "They Want It All" was co-written with Kevin Chalfont, who was part of the Storm with a pair of additional Journey alums.
Rolie recorded in Texas at RMG Studio and Arylyn Studios in Austin, and at the Sonic Ranch in Tornillo – the latter of which inspired the record's title. Other contributors include drummer Ron Wikso, guitarist Alan Haynes and bassist Sticky Lopez.
Rolie is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, both with Santana and – just a couple of years ago – with Journey. Roots was his most recent album, dating back to 2001; Rolie released an EP, titled Five Songs, in 2011.
"I didn't plan on taking so long to record a new album," Rolie said. "The simple fact is, I've been working. I've been writing songs over the years, and we recorded half of them by 2013. Then I got busy touring with Ringo, and I took part in the  Santana reunion, Santana IV. Everything took time. Finally, when Santana IV was done, I could get back to finishing the record."