Thunderbird Bass

When it comes to guitarists, no one say that Derek Smalls doesn’t choose the best. For his forthcoming debut solo album, Smalls Change, the Spinal Tap bassist (better known as comedian/actor Harry Shearer) enlisted a slew of guitar greats, including Steve Lukather, Skunk Baxter, Peter Frampton, Waddy Wachtel, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Richard Thompson, and Larry Carlton.

Set for release on April 13, the album is described in a press release as “a poignant and oftentimes furious contemplation on aging that explores the passing of time and all things loud. With styles that cross the gamut of musical genres, the album possesses the edgy rawness and Rock God sensibility that was always shared by Derek and his fellow former [Spinal Tap] band members, Nigel Tufnel and David St. Hubbins.”

Smalls provided annotations and commentary for the tracklist, which you can read below:

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 Honorable 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.