Ringo Starr to Record Country EP With T Bone Burnett’s Help
Ringo Starr has three more EPs in motion -- including one that will take him back in a country direction.
Starr offered the news Wednesday during a virtual press conference from Los Angeles, where he and his All-Starr Band were preparing for the start of their 2023 touring schedule.
"I finished one [EP] just before I started rehearsing," Starr reported. That release will be followed by a collaborative EP with Linda Perry. The former 4 Non Blondes member, who contributed songs to both Change the World in 2021 and last year's EP3, will helm the project.
"We got to know each other and I love her," Starr said. "She's just great. She said, 'Oh, Ringo, let me do it,'" to which Starr replied, "'OK, do what you do.' The only thing I'll be doing on that EP is playing drums and singing."
Meanwhile, the country EP -- which Starr plans to work on after the All-Starrs finish in mid-October -- came from a chance meeting with Grammy Award winner T-Bone Burnett. "I asked [Burnett] to help us out," Starr explained. "I (said) if he's got any time and wants to do it... Well, he did want to do it, and he sent me, I promise you, one of the most beautiful country songs, tracks, I've heard in a long time. It's very old school country. It's beautiful. So I thought, 'Hey, I'm gonna make a country EP!'"
Starr has dabbled in country music in the past, famously singing lead on the Beatles' twangy "Act Naturally" and later releasing a solo country album, Beaucoups of Blues, in 1970.
The famed rocker said collaborating with other artists keeps him inspired for new projects.
"I get to meet and actually work with people I've never worked with, which I've always found exciting," Starr affirmed, before adding that the EP format remains his preferred way to release material. "I just felt EPs, you could sort of look at it in a serious way and you can do it in a month," he explained. "An album does take longer, so (EPs are) what I've been doing."
Starr was joined at the press conference by the rest of his All-Starr lineup -- guitarist Steve Lukather (Toto), multi-instrumentalist Edgar Winter, guitarist Colin Hay (Men at Work), bassist Hamish Stuart (Average White Band, Paul McCartney), drummer Gregg Bissonette and multi-instrumentalist Warren Ham.
After his recent tours were shortened by COVID, the drummer acknowledged that "last year was a bit awkward, 'cause the first tour went down, the second tour went down. We have great confidence we're gonna do all the gigs (this year)." The spring tour runs through June 17 in San Jose, California while the fall tour gets under way Sept. 17 in Ontario, California and wraps Oct. 13 in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
"I'd rather play every night than have a day off," Starr noted. "If I'm on the road I want to play. I don't want to sit in the hotel and relax for three days. I want to get out there and play. It's just who I am. I love to do it." He added that, "With this band it's great, 'cause everybody takes the weight. With Paul (McCartney), he's, like, 'The Man,' so he has to take time off to get himself back together. But 'cause we're this crowd, we could play every night. I promise you, we could play every night -- but Edgar needs a day off," Starr joked.