Indiana Daily Student

'Blue & Lonesome' shows off the Rolling Stones' bluesy roots

Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones perform in the Ciudad Deportiva de la Habana in Cuba on Friday, March 25, 2016. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones perform in the Ciudad Deportiva de la Habana in Cuba on Friday, March 25, 2016. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

We often don’t know the exact history of our favorite bands, especially when those bands are from long before their millennial fanbase was born.

A large number of British musical groups in the 1960s were influenced by the blues recording coming out of Chicago. The Rolling Stones are no exception, and they took to their new album to remind us of their bluesy roots.

The Rolling Stones returned to where they began in the group’s new release “Blue & Lonesome,” touching on the Chicago blues roots that led the group to form and become successful in the first place.

The group was inspired by many black Chicago blues artists who played at the famous Chess Records. The Rolling Stones even took their name from a Muddy Waters song.

“Blue & Lonesome” is a poetic tribute to what inspired the Stones to be the Stones in the first place. Each song on the album is carefully executed to each note, twang and pull of the voice, but more importantly, it’s overflowing with the familiar heartache and soul of the blues.

The hair on the back of my neck stood up as I heard each cover on the album — the songs were good to begin with, and they only improved as the Stones covered them.

While I’m not usually a fan of complete cover albums, I never doubted the Rolling Stones would execute this one flawlessly and do everything possible to maintain the original integrity of the songs. The Rolling Stones clearly had the best of intentions with this album, and the influence of their original blues mentors is evident.

“Ride ‘Em On Down” reflects the original recording by Eddie Taylor but is spiced up by the flat projection in Mick Jagger’s voice. The harmonica and guitar pairings are exceptional and maintaining the original feel of the song works well here.

“Just Your Fool” has that bluesy feel through lyric delivery and basic back beat paired with a harmonica. It’s a smooth introduction to the young blues listener that uses the lyrics that everyone can relate to.

Thing slow down with “Everybody Knows About My Good Thing,” showing the breadth of talent the group has. Each song is a sweet introduction to a genre of music that few people still recognize and remember.

This album may inspire a younger generation of Stones fans to dig into the music that was the roots of the group. It’s an accessible introduction to true delta and the Chicago blues that inspired rock ‘n’ roll musicians in Britain and the United States that many millennials and baby boomers alike hang onto today.

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