Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Album Review Rolling Stones Bigger Band

Rollings Stones MUCH Bigger BangSaturday, September 17, 2005

Artist: The Rolling Stones
Title: The Bigger Bang

Once again the Rolling Stones thumb their noses at the conventional wisdom of the established Anti-Establishment.

When they began in 1962 the Rolling Stones thwarted conventional wisdom by playing American blues rather than the Trad Jazz or Skiffle that was popular with English kids at the time. By juxtaposing their career path against that of the more accepted Beatles during the 60’s the Stones extended the life of their band. With the release of their latest studio effort, The Bigger Bang’ the Rolling Stones have, as best I can figure, 24 studio albums, 8 official live albums, numerous boxset, and (at least) 18 domestic Greatest Hits packages. While the rest of the world was coming off the bliss of Woodstock, in 1969 the Stones suffered through the death of founder Brian Jones (guitar), the murder of a fan (Meredith Hunter), during their free concert at Oakland’s Altamont Speedway (and captured in the film, Gimme Shelter), the eminent firing of manager Allen B. Klein, a shift from “pop” to a rootsy-blues band, and replacement guitar player Mick Taylor. Any one of these could have easily broken up the band; inexplicably the Rolling Stones not only survived but went on to record some of their best known material.

With the 1972 release of, ‘Exile on Main Street’ conventional wisdom trashed the double album.

In 2004 Rolling Stone magazine placed ‘Exile on Main Street’ in the Top Ten best Rock albums.

In 2005 critics besmirch the band who’s youngest member, Ron Wood, is 58 years old. Sixteen years ago, with the 1989 release of their ‘Steel Wheels’ album conventional wisdom joked about the “steel wheelchairs tour.” Yet this same caste of critics praised Muddy Waters, while in his late 60’s for his trilogy of Blue Sky recordings with Johnny Winter. Evidently conventional wisdom says it’s okay for a African American blues act to be active into their seventh decade but Englishmen need to fade away. I’m nor even going to pretend to give an unbias review of the latest Stones album, ‘The Bigger Bang.’ I have featured three tracks on PS Blues for the last month. “Rough Justice” was probably written by Mick Jagger and harkens back to “Sad, Sad, Sad” from the Steel Wheels album. After the lackluster Bridges to Babylon album the band hasn’t rocked this hard in the studio since the release of the irresprisable ‘91 anti-war anthem, “High Wire.” “Back of My Hand” is a blues track and exhibits the Stones in one of their strong suits.

When they released the blues track, “Honest I Do,” for the ‘Hope Floats’ soundtrack, some called for a blues album by the band. In fact lead singer Mick Jagger recorded a serious blues solo album with the band, The Red Devils, although to date it is available only as a bootleg. Finally, “Streets of Love,” is a typical post-86 Jagger ballad ala’ the “Voodoo Lounge” album. With the (struggling) sobriety of guitarist Ronnie Wood it’s clear he’s giving the band a new level of energy by getting them to play songs long forgotten in venues much too small and keeping them on stage.

Throughout their 40+ year career the Stones have successfully ignored conventional wisdom.

The only difference is they are now thumbing their nose at the ‘Established Anti-Establishment’ and may God bless’em for doing so. As Keith said on opening night of the, Bridges to Babylon’ tour, “Any day above ground is a good day.”

Incidentally, conventional wisdom berates the band for the plethora of Greatest Hits packages. Twelve or 66% of their domestic Hits albums came out on the ABKCO label, owned by former manager and industry bad guy Allen B. Klein (company), AFTER the band had left Klein and the Decca label.

So much for conventional wisdom.

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