CD Review: Joe Walsh


Joe Walsh
The Definitive Collection
Geffen/UME
By David Chiu

Joe Walsh is like that eccentric uncle who is the probably coolest in the family. He is an everyman with a populist charm who also just happens to be one of rock’s great guitarists. His ‘aw shucks’ self-effacing persona (he even wrote a song called “Ordinary Average Guy”) is endearing, but it is his axe work that makes it known that he is all business. This collection draws on his early work with the James Gang as typified in the classics “Funk #49” and “Walk Away” through his best-known tracks on the trippy “Rocky Mountain Way” and the sardonic “Life Is Good.” Darting guitar work and somewhat distinctive singing aside, Walsh is also capable of handling a slow song as on 1975’s “Help Me Through the Night,” featuring backing vocals from the members of the Eagles, the band he would eventually join (Unfortunately this collection does not have one of his best songs he recorded with the Eagles, “In the City”). If you like your music with grit, humor and guitars, then vote Joe Walsh for President.

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