The Rolling Stones may be wrapping up their Zip Code tour next week, but Keith Richards doesn't plan on gathering moss: The guitarist will release Crosseyed Heart, his third solo album and first since 1992's Main Offender, on September 18th, with first single "Trouble" set for release July 17th.
Richards and drummer Steve Jordan wrote and produced the majority of Crosseyed Heart, with guitarist Waddy Wachtel and Rolling Stones backup singer Bernard Fowler also assisting on the project. "I had a ball making this new record and working with Steve Jordan and Waddy Wachtel again," Richards said in a statement. "There's nothing like walking into a studio and having absolutely no idea what you’re going to come out with on the other end. If you're looking for 'Trouble,' you've come to the right place."
Jordan and Wachtel are longtime members of Richards' X-Pensive Winos backing band and featured prominently both on Richards' 1988 solo debut Talk as Cheap (Jordan co-wrote all of that LP's tracks with Richards) as well as Main Offender. Fowler also sang on Main Offender, which was produced by Richards, Wachtel and Jordan. "[Wachtel] is a natural maestro," Richards told Rolling Stone in 2013. "He can take a song to further heights than you expected, beyond expectations. I envy him, quite honestly."
Keyboardist Ivan Neville and singer Sarah Dash also appear on Crosseyed Heart, while special guests include Norah Jones on the ballad duet "Illusion," Spooner Oldham on "Lovers Plea," famed multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell on "Robbed Blind" and Aaron Neville on "Nothing on Me." A pair of tracks, "Amnesia" and "Blues in the Morning," also feature contributions from late Stones saxophonist Bobby Keys.
Richards himself plays both electric and acoustic guitars, bass and piano and on Crosseyed Heart, which is described as a "musical journey that takes in reggae ('Love Overdue'), rock ('Trouble'), country ('Robbed Blind') and the blues ('Blues in the Morning')."
In April, Rolling Stone asked Richards whether he would tour in support of his upcoming solo LP. "That's being kicked around," Richards said. "At the moment, I'm just getting my head into the Stones and I haven't really thought about what I'm going to do afterwards. But usually if I put a record out, I do some road work. So, it's possible." At the time, Richards revealed that his solo album was finished, but he was waiting for the Stones to wrap up their tour.
Despite the solo LP, Richards is also eager to hit the studio with the Rolling Stones soon to record a follow-up to 2005's A Bigger Bang. "We're talking about doing some recording after this tour, but there's nothing definite. We just threw out the idea. I'd like to get the boys back in the studio again, yeah. Anything can happen," Richards said. "I'd like to see just how far they can evolve. I have no demands or particular visions for them, but you're just part of this thing and I want to see how far it will go."