Timothy B. Schmit may sing softly, but he carries a big résumé stick. The bassist was a member of country-rockers Poco who later replaced the similarly timbered Randy Meisner in the Eagles and logged his first smash with “I Can’t Tell You Why.” Now, during a rare Eagles lull, he’s touring behind “Expando,” his first solo set in eight years. The perpetually hippie-haired artist also reunited with Poco at California’s Stagecoach Festival.
So how was the Poco Stagecoach gig? It was good. We had a dress rehearsal first — we played this little bar as a warm-up show. But the thing that was really sweet about Stagecoach was, I was really happy that George [Grantham], the ex-drummer of Poco, was able to make it, because he had a major stroke and was out of commission for a long time. So he was able to do some singing with us, and it was really heartwarming.
You’re the only Eagle actually from California, right? That’s right! I was actually born in Oakland. Then we moved to San Leandro, then we got a trailer house and started traveling wherever my dad went. He was a musician with a trio called the Tune Mixers that played the standards of the day at supper clubs. And I loved the whole scene. And one of the Tune Mixers’ wives was an ex-professional dancer, and she started teaching me tap dancing. So my first stage appearance as a little kid was as a tap dancer.
Tap? Seriously? Oh, man, I had it all — I had all the costumes. And I had a knack for it — what can I say? But luckily, I was also really athletic. I was in little league and then later on I was a gymnast, and tap came in handy on the gymnastics team. All that dance study I did was totally helpful as a gymnast — the strength, the balance, the agility.
Expando was a type of trailer you lived in? Yeah. When we finally settled in Sacramento, my parents bought this new invention called an Expando. It was 45 feet long and 8 feet wide, but when you parked it you could put a lever into a phony kitchen cabinet and start cranking it, and it’d expand another seven feet. It seemed really cavernous to me. So this new album is very autobiographical — I think I had a really full and good childhood.
Isn’t it about time for a new Eagles album next year? I’d say it’s doubtful. But I’ve also learned that I don’t really know anything about what’s going on, and I’m constantly surprised. So we’ll see what happens.
IF YOU GO
Timothy B. Schmit
Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Sunday