Rolling Stones To Release Blues-Based Album Later This Year

rollingstonesbannerSo it turns out that the Rolling Stones’ 55th year of existence is going to be one of their bigger ones in recent memory. Last week they completed a tour of Latin America, capped off by a historic concert in Havana, Cuba. This week the band members attended the opening of Exhibitionism, a multimedia exhibit in London featuring artifacts from their long career, which has garnered some great reviews.

And the most exciting news of all, band members told the media at the Exhibitionism opening that a new album would likely be released by the end of 2016, their first studio album since 2005’s A Bigger Bang. But what really brings this news to a thrilling level for Stones fans is the fact that the new album will lean heavily on the blues and blues covers.

Ron Wood told Associated Press that “We went in to cut some new songs, which we did. But we got on a blues streak. We cut 11 blues in two days. They are extremely great cover versions of Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter, among other blues people. But they really sound authentic.”

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The band’s designated blabbermouth, Wood went on to tell BBC6 that “We didn’t spend any time rehearsing them or anything. We just picked a song that suited Mick’s harmonica or a guitar riff… and they worked out pretty good. It was like, ‘this is what the Stones do, we play blues.'”

If that doesn’t get a Stones fan’s blood rushing, nothing will. When asked over the years about how long the Stones will keep playing, Keith Richards has always pointed to the old bluesmen playing into their ‘80s. In some ways, the blues is the most suitable music for battle-weary musical warriors, and I am betting the Stones will bring a powerful new perspective to some of the old chestnuts.

Maybe they will even help bring a new appreciation of the blues to a younger generation. While artists like Jack White, the Black Keys and Gary Clark Jr. have drawn from the blues for inspiration, maybe it’s time for an full-on alt.blues movement. Young musicians have always reached back to older music as a foundation on which to build some new sounds. 50 years ago many of them turned the blues into a building block for what became Rock music.

Maybe the time is ripe for that process to begin all over again. Who knows what kind of Rock might emerge this time around?

Photo: By Jim Pietryga ( [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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4 comments to “Rolling Stones To Release Blues-Based Album Later This Year”
  1. And isn’t all of Rock blues-based? I wanted to say “blues album” but that wouldn’t be quite accurate. “Blues-oriented” or “bluesy” is too vague. “Blues-heavy” would be confusing. The BBC said “blues-inspired”, but aren’t all the Stones albums “blues-inspired”?

    • Interesting comment, since it has long been argued that hip-hop replaced the blues as the authentic voice of inner-city America. Could the pendulum swing back?

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