Album Review: The Rolling Stones — Blue & Lonesome
File next to: Eric Clapton, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon
Few people expected the Rolling Stones to make a very good (and quite possibly great) album in 2016. The year of rock star and celebrity death spared Keith Richards; that itself was remarkable enough. But for Blue & Lonesome, their 23rd studio album – and their first in more than a decade – the Stones returned to their roots. Their self-titled 1964 debut had three original tunes out of twelve; Blue & Lonesome is all covers. And not just any covers: the selection of mostly Chicago blues takes things right back to where the group started. They don’t sound exactly like old bluesmen – though all but Ronnie Wood (a youngster at 69) are approaching their mid-70s – but they tear into these songs with all the gutbucket feel of their blues and forebears. They’re superb interpreters of these classics.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.