LIVE: “Chicago Plays The Stones” @ The Egg, 11/16/18
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
The brand new album, Chicago Plays The Stones, and the corresponding tour of the same name features an all-star cast of some of the most celebrated, living Chicago blues legends (and legends in the making), playing the international hits of the Rolling Stones.
Of course, The Stones and so many other British Invasion rock bands of the ’60s were inspired by black blues musicians who were playing the electric, Chicago blues style. They covered Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers and many others’ songs on their early recordings and continued to build on that Chicago sound for decades in their own songwriting.
Last month at The Egg’s intimate Swyer Theatre, guitarist-singer Ronnie Baker Brooks (son of the late Chicago blues legend Lonnie Brooks), harmonica master-vocalist Billy Branch and the Living History Band – guitarist Giles Cory, drummer Kenny Smith (the son of the late Willie ‘Big-Eyes” Smith, Muddy Waters’ drummer for decades), bassist Felton Crews (who toured and recorded with jazzlegend Miles Davis) and keyboardist Daryl Coutts – played a wide spectrum of The Stones’ hits in an intensely passionate way, filled with expressive vocals, screaming guitar licks, harp crescendos and dynamic, turn-on-a-dime rhythmic shifts.
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker),” “Play with Fire,” “Miss You,” “Angie,” “Sympathy for the Devil” and dozens more classic songs exploded on the stage, filling the room with familiar tunes played up-close and personal by Chicago Plays The Stones in an old school style of authentic blues.