Rock Blog: The Stones Are Back (& Blue)

Photo © ZAK BRIAN/SIPA

October 31, 2016

The Rolling Stones are about to release a new album, devoted entirely to cover versions of blues songs. In most cases, the proverbial “Blues Album” for a veteran artist could mean, A: they’ve run out of material or have suffered from writers block, B: It’s the one thing they’ve always wanted to do, which could be a result of “A”, or C: they wanted to go back to their roots (usually because of “A”). Eric Clapton might get a pass, ZZ Top as well. Aerosmith, maybe not.

 

One could say the blues album, the covers album, the acoustic album of their own biggest hits is a cop out for any band who has put in 20+ years. I didn’t say that, but one could. But with the Rolling Stones, it’s no cop out. It’s legit.

 

Mick and Keith bonded because of their love of Willy Dixon, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Chuck Berry, Howlin' Wolf and every other tent pole of Chicago Blues. Their first six albums were mostly Buddy Holly, blues and soul covers. Exile on Main Street, arguably their best album, was a blues-based revisit to the music that brought them together. All of their live shows have included gems from their heroes, so The Stones don’t owe anyone any excuses. They have a right to sing the blues.

Blue & Lonesome comes out December 2nd. It has 12 great nuggets on it, including a tune Led Zeppelin made famous, "I Can’t Quit You Baby”.  Dig it.

 

- Dave Richards AKA Sergeant Hairclub