BLACK STONE CHERRY – Black To Blues (2017)
It may be a little bit before we get a full new BLACK STONE CHERRY album of original material, but the band has something to tide fans over that might have an influence on what we get next. The group is releasing “Black To Blues“, offering up their take on a handful of songs from some of the greats of blues music.
Before releasing five critically acclaimed albums, playing 12,000-capacity arena shows, topping U.K. charts and sharing the stage with bands like DEF LEPPARD, LYNYRD SKYNYRD, BAD COMPANY, ALTER BRIDGE and SHINEDOWN, the guys in the Kentucky-based active rock powerhouse were just teenagers finding their way jamming on the blues.
“Black To Blues” is a collection of blues classics and obscurities re-imagined with the meaty moxie of classic BLACK STONE CHERRY.
“A defining moment for me was realizing all the rock ‘n’ roll that I loved came from the blues,” says vocalist and guitarist Chris Robertson. “I know it’s crazy for 4 hard rock dudes to make a blues EP, but it’s us sharing with everyone the music that’s been our DNA from day one”.
With “Black To Blues”, the band offers a fresh take on classics not by just any Blues artists, but the true pioneers of the genre. Bluesmen who really took the genre to another level.
For example, “Built For Comfort,” the EP’s first track, was originally done by a man who sang the Blues like no one before or after him, Howlin’ Wolf. BLACK STONE CHERRY take this classic and turn it into a groovy, funky, powerful Rock song that will explode out of the listeners’ speakers from the first note. Done right, the song ends with Robertson’s screaming vocal tribute to the legendary shouting of Wolf.
Muddy Waters, known as one of the greatest Blues Guitarists in history, is honored not with one cover song, but three. And here’s the album more interesting part. For listeners that have dual appreciation for BLACK STONE CHERRY’s hard-edged, full-bodied sound and Muddy Waters’ sultry, swaying style, this EP will be an exciting addition to their music library.
“Champagne & Reefer” is one of the standout tracks, starting with a steady march before welcoming Robertson’s lead vocals. His wide vocal range is of great use to the EP: he delivers swagger on Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign” and brings a gruff edge to “Hoochie Coochie Man” that recalls the deep tone of Waters’ original.
The biggest change on a song like “Hoochie Coochie Man” is the expanded sound in BLACK STONE CHERRY’s version; in addition to introducing a horn section, they also incorporate metal-styled bass riffs to build upon a deeper, darker rhythm section.
“Black To Blues” is for anyone who wants to hear a modern take on blues hits of old. The hard rock style updates the blues standards, proving that the stories and sentiments expressed in the originals are just as representative of the human experience now as they were when they were new.
For those that are fans of BLACK STONE CHERRY’s modern hard rock sound and those that are simply interested in fresh interpretations of songs snuggled deep within the blues cannon, this is an EP worth checking out. As bonus, you have a bunch of rarities, B-sides, non album tracks, etc.
Great classic stuff with an edge.
01 – Built For Comfort
02 – Champagne & Reefer
03 – Palace Of The King
04 – Hoochie Coochie Man
05 – Born Under A Bad Sign
06 – I Want To Be Loved
BONUS TRACKS: (Taken from EPs and rare recordings)
07 – Hell And High Water
08 – Big City Lights
09 – We Are The Kings
10 – Rain Wizard
11 – Drinkin’ Champagne
12 – Stop Runnin’
13 – In My Blood (Gold Mix)
14 – Won’t Let Go (Pop Mix)
15 – Get Up, Stand Up
16 – Fire And Water (Accoustic)
17 – White Trash Millionaire (Live Acoustic)
Chris Robertson – vocals / guitar
Ben Wells – guitar / vocals
Jon Lawhon – bass / vocals
John Fred Young – drums
BUY IT !