In December 1971, Joe Walsh left James Gang and moved to Colorado. Revolutionary guitar sounds along with recording techniques were used by bassist Kenny Passarelli and drummer & multi-instrumentalist Joe Vitale. A new chapter of their band called ‘Barnstorm’ started with the release of their first album on 21st October 1972.
Journey in Colorado
The second album released in 1973 contained ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ song, which reached 23rd ranking on the top 40 chart list in the US. It was Walsh’s anthem that revealed his love for Colorado and also a song that rivaled ‘Rocky Mountain High’ written by John Denver. The basic rock ‘n’ roll song ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ was an international hit!
Some other favorites released by the trio include ‘Here We Go’ and ‘Mother Says’. Walsh even produced and released ‘Souvenirs’ album at Caribou Studios. Graham Nash was also invited to sing the harmony vocal on the album ‘Part of the Plan’ that reached 17th ranking in 1975’s chart.
The trio needed more members to host concerts, so Tom Stephenson and Rocke Grace got added to the band.
Walsh and Stefanie gained parenthood in the year 1971. They named her Emma, who got injured on the way to nursery school. Eventually, she passed away. Joe wrote ‘Song for Emma’ that was included in his album ‘So What’. The song reveals his depression over the crushing tragedy in his life. In North Boulder Park, there is a memorial plaque that honors Emma positioned beside the water fountain.
In 1975, Bernie Leadon left the band’ Eagles’ and Walsh joined it. He spent many years with Eagles, where hits like ‘I can’t tell you why’, ‘Hotel California’, and ‘Life in fast lane’ got created with his guitar groove. Walsh toured with Eagles band until they broke up in 1980. When the band returned for ‘Long run’ era in 1994 Walsh rejoined Eagles.
The band was a great success but Walsh even produced solo albums, simultaneously. His 1978s solo album ‘Life’s been good’ reached 12th on the hotlist. Other great solo performance includes ‘A life of illusion’, ‘All night long’, and ‘Ordinary average guy’.
In 2016, Joe Walsh played the iconic Colorado anthem with Laith Al-Saadi on a reality show ‘The Voice’. He even made guest appearances on the Foo Fighters 8th album and Sonic Highways.
In 1998, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame encouraged the Eagles. In 2011, Joe Walsh was named one of the hundred greatest guitarists of all time in Rolling Stone. He was recognized for his implausible music career.