Home Read Albums Of The Week: Duff McKagan | Lighthouse

Albums Of The Week: Duff McKagan | Lighthouse

The MVP bassist continues to chase his frontman dreams with another half-decent set of dark rockers & ballads. On the plus side, it's not as godawful as the cover art.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For more than 40 years, Duff McKagan has been an unstoppable creative force, spanning a multitude of bands, tours, collaborations, and writings. Now, with his third solo album Lighthouse, the veteran musician proves to be, at his heart, a gifted singer-songwriter with a distinctive knack for authenticity and introspection.

In 2019, McKagan opened his own Seattle recording studio, allowing him a long-hoped-for opportunity to “finally explore songs that I may have written the night before or some of those old riffs from years ago. This is a big deal for me.” He spent much of the next two years working with longtime producer/collaborator Martin Feveyear (Mark Lanegan, Brandi Carlile), chipping away at a series of intensely personal new songs.

Cuts like Hope (featuring Paul McCartney drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. and Guns N’ Roses bandmate Slash) and the philosophical I Just Don’t Know (featuring contributions from McKagan’s longtime friend, Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains) see McKagan baring more of his artistic spirit than ever before, fusing acoustic elements with hard-edged rock ’n’ roll to land at the sweet spot between soul-searching reflection and pure energy. The 11-song collection is further highlighted by an additional take on the title track, Lighthouse (REPRISE), where he is joined by the one and only Iggy Pop.

Photo by Charles Peterson.

Starting at just 15, McKagan has been a part of such diverse and influential bands as The Vains (1979), The Fastbacks (1980), The Living (1982), The Fartz (1990), 10 Minute Warning (1993) and Loaded (1998), along, of course, with his historic role as founding member of both Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver. He also serves as a core member of a modern-day Wrecking Crew alongside Grammy-winning musician and producer Andrew Watt and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, recording and co-writing on such recent albums as Ozzy Osbourne’s Ordinary Man (2020) and Patient No. 9 (2022) and Pop’s acclaimed Every Loser (2023). McKagan — with Watt, Smith, and Josh Klinghoffer — also served as Pop’s all-star backing band The Losers for a handful of shows in spring. 

Along with his prolific musical efforts, McKagan is the New York Times best-selling author of 2011’s It’s So Easy: And Other Lies and 2015’s How To Be A Man: (And Other Illusions), and the co-host (with Susan Holmes McKagan) of the popular Three Chords & The Truth radio show.”


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