America Co-Founder Gerry Buckley Releases Soulful Single ‘Red And Blue’

GERRY BECKLEY, the illustrious singer, songwriter, performer and co-founder of legendary band America, releases the soulful « Red and Blue, » a recently penned commentary whose title leaves no mystery about its subject matter. « It’s something any of us who are politically aware can’t really avoid, to be honest, » says Beckley, who has, with America, played in all 50 states — appropriate given the band name. « We were in red states as much as we were in blue states, and I like to think it was an opportunity for everyone to come together and put everything else aside and let’s let the music be the message this evening. It was a lovely way to stay out of the line of fire, so to speak. » Beckley ends the song with a harmonica solo (played by Stan Behrens) that thoughtfully, and optimistically, blends « Dixie » into « Over the Rainbow. »

Beckley’s TENTH solo album, titled simply Gerry Beckley, will be released on June 28, 2024 via Blue Élan Records. When America recently took an open-ended hiatus from touring, Beckley found time to go through some of the songs he had put away for a rainy day. Beckley had a lot to choose from – chronologically, stylistically, topically. For instance, first single « Crazy » dates back more than 10 years, first written between breaks of America’s then-grueling tour schedule. Working with longtime producer and collaborator Jeff Larson, Beckley explains « Jeff and I found it on a hard drive, and I thought, ‘That’s pretty good. Gimme some time,' » remembers Beckley, who maintains studios in his two residences of Venice, CA and Sydney, Australia.

Beckley plays the bulk of the instruments on 12 tracks but gets help from a core group of players that includes former Chicago bassist Jason Scheff, guitarist Steve Fekete, drummer Brian Young and backing vocalists Jeff Larson and Brian Eichenberger. Nick Lane and Matt Combs, also longtime musical fellow travelers, arranged horn and string parts, respectively.
All told, GERRY BECKLEY continues a musical path that’s now in its seventh decade and, in Beckley’s mind, a continuing conversation between a songwriter and his audience. « I’m proud of all (the albums), » he says. « But I really like this album a lot. I think the sum of all the parts is really great. And I can’t wait to do more. »