Ultimate Classic Rock
August 20, 2012
Aerosmith keyboardist Russ Irwin has a pretty good gig. As he quips, he’s been “looking at Steven Tyler’s ass for fifteen years” and getting paid for every second of that. It’s nice work if you can get it.
He also remains a music fan, something that he illustrates by telling a story of meeting his childhood heroes Rush in recent years, a moment in which he became unashamedly, a “total fan.”
Irwin has been doing double duty this summer, touring with Aerosmith as they prep to release their highly anticipated new album ‘Music From Another Dimension‘ this fall and separately, he’s also been promoting his own album ‘Get Me Home,’ which is his first solo release in 20 years. His first solo disc, produced by Billy Joel producer Phil Ramone, was released in 1991 and although he scored a Top 40 hit, the album sales didn’t match up with that success.
As we found out in our interview with Russ, it was a challenging road for the musician to navigate from that point forward, but he has done quite well, playing with a number of artists and bands in the past 20 years, including Sting (another early influence), Bryan Adams and Paul Stanley of Kiss. Production and songwriting work found him in cahoots with Meat Loaf, Foreigner and the Scorpions.
‘Get Me Home’ is an interesting mile marker on the heels of all of that. Recorded mostly live from the floor in upstate New York, Irwin’s new album brings to mind the alley cat swing of some of Leon Russell’s best work. The foot stompin’ title track zips through the speakers with some heavy assistance from both Brad Whitford of Aerosmith and Stone Temple Pilots guitarist Dean DeLeo.
Steven Tyler also drops in to add his trademark vocals to two tracks, but all of these guest appearances go far beyond star studded cameos – the story here is more about a bunch of friends who got together to make some music and have some fun. All of that comes through in the songs that made it into the final mixes of ‘Get Me Home.’