Blue and Lonesome, the 2016 album of Rolling Stones blues covers, reminded everyone of the World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band's true musical beginnings , despite the many sea changes the band has endured. Those roots have remained a reassuring constant, though it's difficult to imagine any era when the bulk of the Stones' repertoire weren't Jagger-Richards originals. That's precisely the era covered by The Rolling Stones On Air. Of the 32 tracks on the 2-CD deluxe version, compiled from various 1963-65 BBC radio performances, many of them bootlegged over the past few decades. This marks their first official release.
Brad Paisley has a problem. 18 years ago he released his first album, Who Needs Pictures. 16 years have passed since his Part II album introduced the formula he's followed on albums ever since. They offer more selections than the usual 12-13 track Nashville releases, even his guitar-focused album Play. They're loaded—some might say overloaded--with cameos ranging from actors (the late Andy Griffith) and rock icons (see Love and War) to fellow Nashville stars (Keith Urban) and Grand Ole Opry veterans (the late Little Jimmy Dickens, Bill Anderson, etc.). The one constant: Paisley’s solid vocals and high-velocity guitar picking remain constants.
I'm putting together an Otis Clay retrospective to post in the next day or so. As for David Bowie, everyone has some favorite material. I was never nuts about his glam-rock phase, though he went far, far beyond that in his legendary career.
My take on Don Henley's recently released country album Cass County: a far cry from the Eagles.
Everyone who knows the Rolling Stones' heritage and musical roots know they took their name from a Muddy Waters song and that Brian Jones, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards became fans of American blues and R&B when they were teenagers. They scarfed up all the Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Little Walter and Howlin' Wolf records (to name just a few of the acts they loved) they could find and copied them closely. By the time they started working together, they already had the seeds of their sound.