Album Review

Ringo Starr "Ringo 2012"

Chad W. Lutz
I want you to picture a 71-year old man in your head. What images come to mind? Rockers? Wheelchairs? Oxygen tanks? Maybe none of these? In this day and age, it seems the elderly are pushing the boundaries of age and incapacitation more than ever before. Although I would never personally classify Richard Starkey, a.k.a. Ringo Starr, a.k.a. Billy Shears, as just another old man, it’s amazing to see what a person Starr’s age is able to accomplish, despite his “maturity,” as my 58-year old father would put it.

Released on UME and HIP-O Records on January 30, Ringo 2012 proves Starr has been a busy Beatle. The new album represents the loveable drummer’s fifth album in the last 10 years and truly serves as a testament to Starr’s longevity and ability to create fun and entertaining music. The follow-up to Y-Not (2010), Ringo 2012 includes rehashed versions of previously released material, a Buddy Holly cover, and a special guest with ties to the Ohio music scene.

A short album by any means, Ringo 2012 stands at a miniscule 28:55. Tracks include a mix of pop rock, southern rock, and basic rockabilly. Most notable are “In Liverpool” (3:19), a fond, nostalgic song about coming of age as a Beatle, and “Slow Down” (2:57) which features none other than former Kent State University student, James Gang front man and Eagles standout Joseph Fidler Walsh, known to most simply as Joe Walsh.

The tracks are fun and light. Though similar in style, Ringo channels what every Beatle seems to have been able to continue to tap into since the days of Abbey Road. Even “In Liverpool”, with its “those were the days” feel still maintains the positive pace set forth by the rest of the album. Ringo also calls upon Edgar Winter, of “Free Ride” (1973) fame, who adds classic rock organ and saxophone to the album and rounds out an all-star cast of musicians. I suppose that’s why they call it Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band…

Ringo may be old, but with a handful of albums in the last decade, it appears the former Beatles drummer is going to Act Naturally and keep on rockin’. No musical masterpiece by any means, Ringo 2012 still offers enjoyable and highly entertaining music, even if only for Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, and Edgar Winters playing together on the same album.