Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers bassist Ron Blair says he and his band mates are still mourning the 2017 loss of Petty, but admits that Tom’s tragic passing has given him the chance to work on a long-gestating solo project.
“I’ve always written songs…[but] you really can’t have a side career and be [Tom’s] bass player,” Ron explains to ABC Audio. “So…I’ve kind of put all that on hold till now.”
Blair says he’s about to release an original solo song called “Alchemy of Love,” which he hopes will eventually be a part of a full album.
“It’s a little reminiscent of the Heartbreakers band, but it’s definitely my own thing,” he maintains. “I’ve got the same kind of roots and…I love the same types of music, and I want to proceed full speed ahead into that.”
His main collaborators are a San Diego-based group called the Chris Torres Band, with whom he’s been playing regular live.
“It’s pretty good stuff,” says Blair of the solo material. “[I]t’s done with a lot of love and really inclusive…I’m obviously proud of it and…intend to do some more of that.”
Ron says that a couple of guest artists also have lent their talents to his solo tracks — longtime Heartbreakers drummer Steve Ferrone and current Rolling Stones backing singer Bernard Fowler.
Blair reports he’s working on a separate project with the Chris Torres Band as well, and that a cover of the Steve Winwood-penned Blind Faith gem “Can’t Find My Way Home” likely will be released soon.
In addition, Ron has been working on an album by Hattie Webb, who sang backup on tour with Petty and the Heartbreakers. “We must have six or eight songs that are really interesting songs,” he says.
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