The Petty Archives

Petty still knows the ropes of the road
By Jim Abbott
Orlando Sentinel - July 25, 2006

This superstar teams with old friend Jeff Lynne to produce yet another fine album.
Tom Petty has been churning out songs for so long that it's remarkable there's still a sense of expectation about his new solo album, Highway Companion.

Any mere mortal might be satisfied with membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a catalog of classic songs that ensures a long, happy ride into the sunset.

Instead, at age 55, Petty just keeps working. And the results are strong enough at times to rival his signature hits. In stores today, Highway Companion is Petty's first album on Rick Rubin's American Recordings. It teams Petty with frequent studio collaborator (and fellow Traveling Wilbury) Jeff Lynne, who produced these dozen songs with Petty and Heartbreaker Mike Campbell.

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CD Reviews: the power of one
By Sean Daly
St. Petersburg Times - Tuesday, July 25, 2006

New CDs by rocker Tom Petty, crooner Raul Malo and hip-hopper Pharrell prove you can step out on your own, and step up your game.
Tom Petty | Highway Companion | (American) | Grade: A

Breaking the band.

Ditching your mates.

D.I.Y., baby.

In the perilous world of popular music, there isn't a riskier career move than leaving your day job and going solo, be it for one record or the rest of your cursed career.

For Petty, signs of vindication
By Patrick Berkery
The Philadelphia Inquirer - July 26, 2006

Finally starting to 'get' Petty
Dependability has its downside. Just look at Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

For 30 years they've been a model of consistency and integrity.

Classic albums like Wildflowers, Full Moon Fever (technically, solo Petty discs), and Damn the Torpedoes weren't return-to-form follow-ups after putrid flops, but part of a succession of good-to-great records.

Good to Be King: Tom Petty's everyman act.
By Mike Seely
Seattle Weekly - July 26, 2006

Elvis had Memphis, Dylan will always have New York City in the '60s, and the Boss has the Jersey Shore. No matter what corner of the globe each member of America's male musical pantheon turns up in, their music maintains a sense of place—roots to their varying strains of rock.

Tom Petty, on the other hand, suffers no such burden. Beyond a smattering of hard-core devotees, hardly anyone knows he's from Gainesville (Fla.) unless they're from Gainesville, too. And aside from incidental mention, neither that city nor its matron state plays a central role lyrically for Petty. By declining to tether his songs geographically (save for an ongoing affection for Southern California, which is transient at its core), Petty has attempted, consciously or otherwise, to speak to America at large for the past 30 years—a daunting task in a nation where every county has its own particular cultural abnormalities. Herein, he's managed to slip through the cracks and, in so doing, succeed spectacularly.

Tom Petty Offers One For The Road
By Eric R. Danton
Hartford Courant - July 27, 2006

TOM PETTY | Highway Companion | American
All Tom Petty can seem to talk about lately is how this summer's tour is his last full-scale road trip, which is sort of funny, given that most of his third solo album is about life on the road. Not a musician's life, though: "Highway Companion" deals more with the road as a metaphor for escape and rediscovery.

Petty sounds more pensive than he has in a while, as if he's weary from long drives and dusty dashboards. It's a welcome change from the bitter invective infecting 2004's "The Last DJ," and the songs are uniformly stronger on "Highway Companion." Up-tempo rockers sizzle alongside folksy acoustic numbers, all of them loaded with searching lyrics about counting one's blessings, paying one's debts and starting fresh. It is in many ways a restless record, focusing on past and future without pausing to take stock of the present.

Petty digs deep into his catalog on current tour
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tom Petty is dusting off the catalog as he and the Heartbreakers celebrate their 30th anniversary with a tour that reaches White River Amphitheatre Sunday night.

Along with special guests like Stevie Nicks, Petty is making the tour special by going back to the band's first album to play some rarely heard Heartbreaker tunes. They also dust off songs they haven't played in concert for years.

Asked it there are any songs in the vast catalog that he wishes he could retire, or play more of, Petty said: "Well, you always want to play as much new stuff as you can, though it's hard for an audience, especially if it's really large, to take in a lot of new music, so I don't try and put a lot of those in. But if we get really tired of something we just retire it and replace it and maybe if we wanna bring it back later we do."

Petty aging graciously
By Darryl Sterdan
CANOE - July 28, 2006

Tom Petty | Highway Companion | (American/Warner) | ★★★½
Didja notice how gracious Tom Petty was after everyone pointed out The Red Hot Chili Peppers' Dani California was pretty much his 1993 hit Mary Jane's Last Dance with new lyrics? Wonder why?

Well, maybe it has something to do with the fact that his latest solo album Highway Companion doesn't exactly reinvent the roots-rock wheel.

CD Round-Up
The Daily Express - Friday, July 28, 2006

Tom Petty: Highway Companion (American Recordings/Warners)
Like Johnny Cash before him, grizzly troubadour Petty has now signed to producer Rick Rubin's American Recordings label in an attempt to revitalise his career. Petty has always been something of an acquired taste, and that opinion probably won't be changed by this album. That's a shame, as there are some truly lovely tunes here that deserve a bigger audience.

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Tom Petty claims it's time to leave the road behind
By Nekesa Mumbi Moody
Eugene Register-Guard - Friday, July 28, 2006

The group will continue, but extended tours will be a thing of the past.
NEW YORK -- Each week, Tom Petty selects some musical gems that have fallen into obscurity and beams them out on his satellite radio show, hoping to expose fans to some classic music that deserves another listen.

The rock legend is planning to apply some of that philosophy to his own vast catalog this summer, as Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band.
Along with special surprise guests such as Stevie Nicks, Petty is making the tour special by going back to the band's first album to play some rarely heard Heartbreaker tunes. They'll also dust off songs they haven't played in concerts for years -- though Petty didn't divulge which ones for this interview.