Album Reviews

The Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones go back to their deepest roots

Artist:     The Rolling Stones

Album:     Blue & Lonesome

Label:     Polydor/ UMGRI Interscope

Release Date:     12/02/2016



The Rolling Stones went back to their roots and recorded the album all long-time Stones fans were waiting for.

When the Stones started out, they would all sit in with Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, which was a straight-ahead blues band. This set up the foundation for the first Stones’ album (released in the USA as England’s Newest Hit Makers, in the UK as The Rolling Stones).That album was made of blues covers from Willie Dixon, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Reed, Rufus Thomas, James Moore, plus one Jagger/Richards-penned song. It was basically the live set they were playing at the time.

Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with both Keith and Mick on blues projects (Hubert Sumlin’s Knights of The Blues Table), and was able to witness their love for the blues first hand. Blue & Lonesome came about same way as their first album: it was a blues jam in the studio, playing some of the blues songs that the Stones have loved their whole lives—“Just Your Fool,” by little Walter, “Commit a Crime,” by Chester Burnett, “All Your Love” by Samuel Maghett, “I Can’t Quit You Baby” (with Eric Clapton sitting in), by Willie Dixon –“Ride ’Em On Down” by Eddie Taylor, to name a few of the 12 essential songs on the album. The songs on Blue & Lonesome were all done in  a traditional way, much like the originals.  The only question I have about the album is, Why wasn’t Mick Taylor on the album?

The Stones absolutely got it right on Blue & Lonesome. Great song selection and great performances by what is still one of the world’s best bands. A must-buy for all Stones, blues and music fans, the Rolling Stones have again done their part in Saving American Music.

—Arnie Goodman

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