Derek Smalls, the bass force formerly of the fabled heavy metal band formerly known as Spinal Tap, returns with the release of his first full length solo venture Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing), out globally April 13 via Twanky Records/BMG on digital, CD and vinyl.
Additionally, Smalls launches his U.S. tour “Lukewarm Water Live: An Adventure in Loud Music” on April 14 in concert with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra at the Saenger Theater, New Orleans. Subsequent dates include June 29 in Atlanta at the Atlanta Symphony Hall with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and a special appearance with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC (additional details to be announced soon).
Smalls Change is a 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, the album possesses the edgy rawness and Rock God sensibility that was always shared by Derek and his fellow former band members, Nigel Tufnel and David St. Hubbins. The album also features some of the greatest talents of rock and roll music and beyond including Peter Frampton, Donald Fagen, Dweezil Zappa, Rick Wakeman, Richard Thompson, Steve Lukather, Joe Satriani, Waddy Wachtel, Michael League, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, Paul Shaffer, Steve Vai, Larry Carlton, Judith Owen, Jane Lynch and The Hungarian Studio Orchestra. Smalls Change is produced by CJ Vanston (Spinal Tap, Rodney Crowell).
Derek Smalls describes Smalls Change as “halfway between ‘rage against the dying of the light’ and trying to find the light.” When asked how he managed to round up so many world-class rockers to join the project, Derek’s terse response is “Pity fuck.”
SMALLS CHANGE with notes by Derek Smalls
1. Openture – Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra
The philosophy of this record, expressed in fewer words than I’ve taken to almost describe it.
2. Rock ‘n’ Roll Transplant – Derek with Steve Lukather (guitar, Toto), drum legends Jim Keltner (George Harrison) and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Whatever might be ailing you, rock ’n’ roll is the cure. Ask Dr. Derek!
3. Butt Call – Derek with Phil X (guitar, Bon Jovi) and Taylor Hawkins (drums, Foo Fighters)
In one lifetime, the telephone has gone from a miracle to a pain in the arse.
4. Smalls Change – Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra, Judith Owen (vocals) Danny Kortchmar (guitar, Don Henley) and Russ Kunkel (drums, James Taylor)
Why Lukewarm Water is no longer bracketed by Fire and Ice. A nod to what’s past, and a wink to what’s next.
5. Memo To Willie – Derek with Donald Fagen (vocals), Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Larry Carlton (guitars, Steely Dan) and The Snarky Puppy Horns
An urgent missive to the Honorable Member: continued tumescence, if you please.
6. It Don’t Get Old – Derek with Peter Frampton (guitar, vocals) and Waddy Wachtel (guitar Keith Richards).
Life on the road, an endless series of pointless encounters. What could be better?
7. Complete Faith – Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra
A musical interruption.
8. Faith No More – Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra and Todd Sucherman (drums, Styx)
As I get older, I look back more fondly on all the people I’ve known. Except for Ian.
9. Gimme Some (More) Money – Derek with Paul Shaffer (piano and organ), Waddy Wachtel (guitar) and David Crosby (vocals)
Time and technology change everything, except the need for change.
10. MRI – Derek with Dweezil Zappa (guitars)
Everybody’s going to have one, eventually. It’s just another ride. To hell, but still…
11. Hell Toupee – Derek with The Hungarian Studio Orchestra
Think Satan doesn’t have dark thoughts about his appearance as he ages? Think again.
12. Gummin the Gash – Derek with Steve Vai (guitar), Gregg Bisonnette (drums, Ringo Starr) and Jane Lynch (vocals)
Losing your teeth closes one door, and opens another. A celebration of the meeting of two toothless cavities.
13. She Puts the Bitch in Obituary – Derek with Richard Thompson (guitar) and Jane Lynch (vocals)
A hymn to womanhood in all her splendor.
14. When Men Did Rock – Derek with Michael League (bass), Joe Satriani (guitar), Rick Wakeman (keyboards) and The Hungarian Studio Orchestra
CJ Vanston and Harry Shearer
Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers)
Donald Fagen (Steely Dan)
Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters)
Danny (Kootch) Kortchmar
Michael League (Snarky Puppy)
Jane Lynch (actress/singer)
Steve Lukather (Toto)
Snarky Puppy Horns
Paul Shaffer (David Letterman, SNL, etc.)
Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Rick Wakeman (Yes)