Don Hen­ley in ses­sion

Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - —Randy L ewis

“I’m still foolish enough to think that my best work is ahead of me,” Ea­gles co-founder Don Hen­ley said dur­ing a pri­vate play­back ses­sion for his forth­com­ing solo al­bum “Cass County.” An au­di­ence of a few dozen lis­ten­ers filled rows of chairs set up in Capi­tol Records’ his­toric Stu­dio A in Hol­ly­wood Thurs­day night for the ses­sion, dur­ing which eight songs — half the 16 tracks on the deluxe edi­tion of the al­bum to be re­leased this fall — were played.

What they heard was a strongly coun­try-lean­ing set in which Hen­ley is joined by main­stream coun­try and Amer­i­cana mu­si­cians in­clud­ing Mi­randa Lam­bert, Martina McBride, Tr­isha Year­wood, Merle Hag­gard, Lucinda Wil­liams, Vince Gill and yes, even Mick Jag­ger. Jag­ger and Lam­bert team up with Hen­ley on Tift Mer­ritt’s “Bram­ble Rose,” which Hen­ley pointed out re­flected Jag­ger’s long­time pas­sion for Amer­i­can coun­try mu­sic, stretch­ing back to when he and Keith Richards struck up a friend­ship with coun­try-rock pi­o­neer Gram Par­sons.

The al­bum, Hen­ley’s first solo record in 15 years, was fin­ished a year ago but had to wait to be re­leased un­til Hen­ley com­pleted obli­ga­tions with “that other band I play in.” He said he doesn’t know how to cat­e­go­rize it, but “I tried to make the kind of al­bum I’d like to hear on coun­try ra­dio.”

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