Ever since Don Felder left The Eagles in February 2001, Steuart Smith has played the lead guitars for the rock band. However, while Smith has all but replaced Felder in the band, he remains tagged as a "touring guitarist" instead of a formal band member.
Twelve years later, with the release of the documentary "History of the Eagles," Steuart Smith unapologetically and honestly said: "I'm not an Eagle." But it was the arrangement between Smith and co-founder Don Henley.
Henley explained during a 2017 Runaway Tours Q&A that Smith "goes off and does side projects." Aside from his works with the Eagles, Smith worked with country musician Rodney Crowell and singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin.
In recognition of The Eagles' longtime session guitarist's efforts, here are the four songs that were co-written by Steuart Smith.
"No More Walks In The Wood"
This solemn, almost acapella song somehow evokes a post-apocalyptic mental image, though it only reminisces a time gone by between the singer and a former lover. Songwriting credits are shared between Don Henley, poet and writer John Hollander, and Steuart Smith himself.
"No More Walks in the Wood" features the harmonizing vocals of its four members - Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, and Timothy Schmit. This opening track to their seventh album "Long Road Out of Eden" really sets the tone. Add it with its cover art of the sun above endless sand dunes, and you get an immersive experience.
"Waiting in the Weeds"
This slow rock single seems to describe both being in a one-sided love and the band's career itself. "And thought I heard some wise men say that every dog will have his day/He never mentioned that these dog days get so long," is a nice illustration of impatience. It shows the difficulty of dealing with an unfortunate past with vivid illustrations through its lyrics and acoustic accompaniment.
The 7 minutes and 46 seconds in this song only features Henley's vocals. It was, however, written together with Smith. Billboard describes the song as featuring "vibrant imagery, haunting instrumentation, and well-crafted vocal arrangements."
This call to action midtempo ballad is another Henley - Steuart Smith penned song and their bassist Timothy Schmit. Lyrically, it reminds us of The Killers' "Be Still" mixed with Bill Withers' "Lean on Me." Musically, the opening for this track is somehow reminiscent of their 1994 album "Hell Freezes Over," specifically "Love Will Keep Us Alive."
Schmit and Henley's vocals do have that calming quality as they urge listeners to "do something." It's an effective, inspirational song, especially for people watching their "love unraveling." The last lines of its chorus ring even as the song is long finished. "Do something/It's not over/No, it's never too late."
"Center of the Universe"
Featuring the soothing pattern of their guitar plucking, "Center of the Universe" is undoubtedly one of the best songs from their 2007 album. Halfway through the song, it also features a slow and captivating acoustic guitar solo.
It was co-written by Henley, Frey, and Smith. In a BBC review of "Long Road Out of Eden," they wrote that "Center of the Universe may be one of the best things they've ever done."