On December 2, the Rolling Stones will revisit their roots with a new blues album pulling songs from the group’s early influences. Represented on the album will be Willie Dixon, Jimmy Reed, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Memphis Slim and more. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Though it informs the Stones’ music, traditional blues haven’t been a part of the band’s in-studio repertoire for a long while. Here, they slide back in and discharge the music with edgy, raspy efficiency. Cut live during the course of three days, the album has the feeling of a romp among friends who know the Chicago-style electric blues of the ’50s and ’60s by heart. Rather than strive for technical perfection, the Stones emphasize feel and loyalty to the originators in their playing. There are clever allusions by the band to bygone recording techniques. Mick Jagger’s harmonica, a predominant instrument on “Blue & Lonesome,” rattles the speakers as if he’s playing it through one of those old crystal microphones Little Walter preferred with a tube amp cranked to 10. Charlie Watts’s kick drum and toms boom and shake—where did the engineers place his microphones, inside the drums?—and his traditional grip on the sticks gives the rhythm its snap and swing. Guitars by Keith Richards and Ron Wood sting in homage to the work of Hubert Sumlin, who backed Howlin’ Wolf. They play the big riffs with fuzzy gusto.
Here’s a sample from that early blues album in which the Stones cover Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want to Make Love to You”: