The bond between the Rolling Stones and Chicago blues has always been a special one. The Stones have included Chicago blues on their own albums, recorded music at Chess Records, toured with Buddy Guy and Junior Wells and performed with Muddy Waters and his band at The Checkerboard Lounge in Chicago itself.
On September 14th Raisin’ Music Records will release Chicago Plays the Stones, a project that sees Buddy Guy, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards join numerous Chicago blues artists to celebrate the music of the Rolling Stones. Among the two generations of Chicago blues torchbearers are Omar Coleman, Billy Boy Arnold, Billy Branch, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and more.
John Primer performs “Angie” and the rough and ready classic “Let It Bleed.” Billy Branch, who says the Stones were one reason he found his way to the blues contributes a blistering “Sympathy for the Devil.” Mick joins Buddy Guy on “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” while Keith and Jimmy Burns lay down “Beast of Burden.”
Chicago Plays the Stones is recorded in Chicago, produced by Larry Skoller and includes 12 exciting new arrangements of old Stones favorites. The album marks the inaugural release for a new record label run by the Chicago Blues Experience, a proposed immersive blues museum and venue in the works in Chicago.
“I was inspired by the challenge to take Rolling Stones songs and turn them into Chicago blues grooves, while at the same time maintaining both the Chicago blues tradition and sound and doing the same for the Rolling Stones songs,” Skoller said.
“The thing was to really keep the integrity of the melody and the harmony and to have them kind of reimagined at the origins. And imagining Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson, all these guys, how they would have interpreted these songs back then, if they were doing them.”
“The opportunity to have been able to rearrange these songs, and to work with the top Chicago guys of two generations, and to be able to pay tribute to the Stones, to be able to bring them back to the musical origins of their own songs… felt historic,” Skoller said. “They really are reverent about the tradition and the music that inspired them and took them to where they went, and where they are.”
- Let It Bleed – JOHN PRIMER
- Play With Fire – BILLY BOY ARNOLD
- Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) – BUDDY GUY WITH MICK JAGGER
- (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – RONNIE BAKER BROOKS
- Sympathy for the Devil – BILLY BRANCH
- Angie – JOHN PRIMER
- Gimme Shelter – LEANNE FAINE
- Beast of Burden – JIMMY BURNS WITH KEITH RICHARDS
- Miss You – MIKE AVERY
- I Go Wild – OMAR COLEMAN
- Out of Control – CARLOS JOHNSON
- Dead Flowers – JIMMY BURNS
Featuring The Living History Band
Chicago Plays the Stones – Various Artists
Label: Raisin’ Music Records