Gerry Beckley, the America frontman who has been intrinsic to the DNA of rock music for over five decades, has released his latest album, Keeping The Light On.
Keeping The Light On is somewhat a “greatest hits” album, offering a narrative that explores the glorious heights of Beckley’s solo output.
Beckley carved out his legacy as one-third of America — who last year celebrated their 50th anniversary. The folk trio, Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek, and Gerry Beckley, released a slew of decade-defining singles in the 1970s. The band went on to be inducted in the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 1995, Gerry Beckley made his solo debut with Van Go Gan. Beckley would go on to release a number of excellent solo efforts including, 2000’s Go Man Go, 2006’s Horizontal Fall, 2009’s Happy Hour, 2011’s Unfortunate Casino, 2016’s Carousel and 2019’s Five Mile Road. Collaborating with music royalty, including the likes of Robert Lamm and the late Beach Boy Carl Wilson.
Keeping The Light On is a 20-track odyssey that weaves some of Beckley’s most beloved hits from two decades of solo material, in addition to five previously unreleased songs.
“Yeah, I’m pretty prolific,” Beckley says, “but I like to preface this with the fact I come from the school of songwriting where you need to write 10 to come up with two that are keepers. That doesn’t mean the other eight are crap, either. But you end up with an abundance of material, and you want to have a home for it.”
Keeping The Light On was put together alongside songwriter and archivist Jeff Larson. “There are demos that go all the way back, not just for any one Gerry project but through the America archives and even back to my four-track days in the 70s,” Beckley says. “There is a lot to pull from.”
The record has given Beckley the latitude to reflect on a 50 year career, but he has no intention of hanging up the boots. “This record is from this point back, and the stuff I’ve been writing and recording will be from this point forward”, Beckley ads. “This is certainly a summation, I guess, but it’s not the end of the story. It’s amazing to have 50 years in this job. Now I can’t wait to start the second half-century.”
It’s luscious, warm songwriting. The kind of album that begs to be experienced on a Sunday morning, with a french press full of black coffee and a good book. Listen to it below.
Check out Leaving The Light On by Gerry Beckley