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Spinal Tap's Derek Smalls (aka Harry Shearer) to Release Debut Solo Album With Long List of Guests

by Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Guitar ‘legend’ Derek Smalls, both formerly and formally of Spinal Tap, will release his very first solo album in April and wow, look at the guests.

Smalls is not without connections. His guests for the album ‘Smalls Change, Mediations Upon Ageing’ include Peter Frampton, Judith Owen, 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.

The first taste of the album is the title track, ‘Smalls Change’, featuring Smalls’ very good friend Harry Shearer’s wife Judith Owen.

The Smalls Change track list 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 Honourable 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

Smalls Change will be released in April.

Additionally, Smalls will launch a US tour called 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 will be June 29th 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 to be announced soon.