A Different Journey

Neal Schon ready to branch out on upcoming solo albums

By Gary Graff
December 22, 2016

Journey guitarist Neal Schon is looking at a busy 2017 — as a band guy and on his own.

In addition to Journey’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction on April 7, the group will be touring during the spring, including a May residency at @TheJoint at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. On the other side of that, however, Schon is eyeballing a pair of new solo albums — one he’s currently working on with producer Narada Michael Walden, and another a collaboration with Kevin “The Caveman” Shirley, who produced Journey’s last three studio albums.

“Kevin Shirley wants me to do, like a really stripped-down, raw blues record featuring a few different artists. I’ve never really done that,” Schon tells us.

“Someone who wants to hear me playing completely dry, with killin’ tone, that’s where I’m headed with him to do that. So that’s exciting for me ’cause he’s a great producer, and I won’t have to worry about much — compile material before I get there and then he’ll pick some for us to do and then I’ll just leave it in his hands.”

Schon has no firm timetable for either solo project, and he’s also hoping to line up more shows with the reunited Santana lineup that recorded the Santana IV album last year.