It’s been seven years since TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT released his last album. The standard opening question is: “Why did it take so long?”
The standard SCHMIT answer to most questions is funny in a self-deprecating way and rooted in simple truths. So of course he answers, “I wasn’t ready until now!”
Patience is a virtue. And with a career that unfolds back to the halcyon 1960s, patience has served this storied artist well. He was in his teens when he charted for the first time. At the turn of the decade he joined POCO and helped steer the band into its pioneering fusions of country, rock and folk. In 1977 he became a member of the legendary EAGLES, an association that would continue on and off for decades.
At the same time, SCHMIT also collaborated with other artists. His talents enhanced Toto’s “Africa,” Richard Marx’s “Don’t Mean Nothin’,” Bob Seger’s “Fire Lake,” Crosby Stills and Nash’s “Wasted On The Way” and multiple tracks by Steely Dan. He’s played internationally as a member of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band and Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band.
All the while SCHMIT absorbed what he played and heard, weaving it strand by strand into his musical fabric. Now and then he stepped out with a solo album. The most recent, Expando, dropped in 2009 and triggered praise from Allmusic.com (“his strongest-ever collection of songs, songs that are tuneful, knowing, reflective and occasionally funny”), BBC (“satisfyingly complete”) and other cultural arbiters.
Then, with patience, he settled back into his busy routine, appearing on recordings with artists as diverse as Wynonna Judd, Diana Krall and The Blind Boys of Alabama. But he also kept listening, writing, filing ideas and edging closer to his next individual project.
Illuminated by an array of fine musicians and singers, LEAP OF FAITH--a strong mix of rock, country, Americana, R&B and even a bit of reggae--plays like a multicolored corona around SCHMIT’s distinctive artistry. From the jaunty opening track