appreciating joe walsh

Diltz-Joe-WalshlargeMatt Domino at The Paris Review:

Joe Walsh should be taken more seriously because between 1972 and 1979, Joe Walsh released five solo albums, three of which are bona fide classics: Barnstorm, The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get, and But Seriously, Folks. He produced much of this output while also being a part of the biggest and most dysfunctional rock group in the world not named Fleetwood Mac—the Eagles. He was largely responsible for bulking up that group’s sound and allowing them to thrive and fill stadiums across the globe. It is unfortunate, then, that for many, Joe Walsh has been reduced to merely a drawling “rock ’n‘ roll survivor.” Because he is so much more than that hasty definition.

In late August and early September, I listen to Joe Walsh’s first solo album, Barnstorm. I’ve been doing this since 2007, when I first discovered the record while working in a summer teaching program at a New England prep school. Barnstorm is my favorite Joe Walsh solo album. It captures, perhaps better than any record in the rock ’n‘ roll canon, the slow, sad melancholy of late summer mixed with the excitement that the fresh, crisp start of autumn seems to promise.

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