V.A. - Chicago Plays The Stones (2018)
They’ve been celebrating this music since the ’60s, but the Rolling Stones really amped up their adulation of the songs and giants of Chicago blues with their acclaimed 2016 album Blue and Lonesome. There was always an irony in the fact that it took a British band to introduce much of America to the kings and queens of Chicago blues, but it was with the utmost sincerity that the Stones first covered these songs and then came to Chicago to be at Chess Studios and hang out with heroes like Muddy Waters. The gritty, urban, amplified and electrifying sound of Chicago blues was tapped by the original rock ’n’ rollers of the ’50s and even more so by the Rolling Stones starting in the mid-’60s. Blues titans like Muddy and Buddy Guy recognized and benefitted from the Stones’ outspoken adoration of them and their Windy City brethren, and a long-lasting cross-continental kinship was born. This is what spawned the idea of Chicago Plays the Stones even before the Stones announced the coming of Blue and Lonesome. Producer Larry Skoller and co-producer/arranger Vincent Bucher had already been working up Chicago-blues covers of Rolling Stones songs dating from the ’60s to the ’90s. “In May of 2016, I was asked to produce Chicago Plays the Stones, timed to be released in conjunction with the Chicago opening of Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones in April of 2017,” says Skoller. “The idea was to bring a set of Stones songs ‘back home’ by playing them with a Chicago blues groove to imagine them as tunes played by Muddy, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed and the other Chicago blues icons the Stones have idolized and covered.”
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