When the Eagles’ two-year farewell tour comes to a close in late July, Don Henley will head back home for a few months of rest. . .then hit the highway all over again. This time, the singer-songwriter will be playing songs from Cass County, his first album of solo material since 2000’s Inside Job. The new record, which Henley co-produced with former Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers drummer (and Hell Freezes Over collaborator) Stan Lynch, is due out September 25th.
Inspired by the country music that soundtracked Henley’s early days in east Texas, Cass County finds him harmonizing with Miranda Lambert, trading verses with Martina McBride and duetting with Merle Haggard. Although it’s unlikely that any of those country stars will join him on the road, Henley has already tapped folk veteran Shawn Colvin to open his string of cross-country solo shows, which kick off in October. Exact dates have yet to be announced, but Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto and Washington, D.C. are among the confirmed stops.
“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,” Henley said last month during a private listening party in Nashville. “I’m a Southerner and a Texan. 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.”
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While the upcoming run will be Henley’s biggest non-Eagles tour in more than a dozen years, he has played his share of solo shows since the Inside Job Tour, including a string of shared dates with Stevie Nicks during her 2005 Two Voices Tour.
Here’s the track list for Cass County. A deluxe edition will include four additional songs.
1. “Bramble Rose” (with Mick Jagger and Miranda Lambert)
2. “The Cost of Living” (with Merle Haggard)
3. “Take A Picture of This”
4. “Waiting Tables”
5. “No, Thank You”
6. “Praying for Rain”
7. “Words Can Break Your Heart”
8. “That Old Flame” (with Martina McBride)
9. “When I Stop Dreaming” (with Dolly Parton)
10. “A Younger Man”
11. “Train In The Distance”
12. “Where I Am Now”