Black To Blues - Black Stone Cherry
Artist: Black Stone Cherry
Album: Black To Blues
Review by Nicole Roberts
Only a year after they dropped their beloved 2016 album Kentucky, Black Stone Cherry are wasting no time giving us new music, releasing their brand new EP Black To Blues. The heavy rock band have gone back to the roots of rock 'n' roll, creating some absolute cracker covers of a selection of the best tracks blues has to offer
While it's an EP of covers, Black Stone Cherry have made sure to put their own spin on each track, making it classic BSC while still staying true to the tracks they're paying homage to. Kicking it off with a classic, 'Built For Comfort' as made famous by the incomparable legend Howlin' Wolf, their ability to take an iconic blues song and mould it into an excellent heavy rock track tells you exactly what you're in for with the rest the EP.
Breezing through a moody rendition of 'Champagne & Reefer' by the iconic Muddy Waters, complete with a blistering guitar solo or two and an accompanying harmonica that would make any blues fan happy, they nail an intriguing take on Freddie King's 'Palace Of The King', taking us through to the highlight of the EP (for me, anyway), 'Hoochie Coochie Man'.
Any blues and rock fan worth their salt would be incredibly familiar with 'Hoochie Coochie Man'. With the fingerprints of two of the greats all over it (having being written by the great Willie Dixon and first recorded by Muddy Waters) it's a cornerstone of the entire genre. The danger of covering this track is twofold - firstly, it's already been covered so many times, so giving it a fresh feel is very difficult. Secondly, it is such an iconic track, pleasing diehard blues fans with your rendition is quite difficult. To me, Black Stone Cherry have succeeded in both regards. Their take feels comfortable and while it's VERY clear what song it is, they still manage to make it their own sultry version of the track. Highlight of the EP, for sure.
Next up is 'Born Under A Bad Sign', made famous by Albert King, a track so full of attitude and confidence that the track basically saunters out of the speakers. Finishing up is the comparitively short track, 'I Want To Be Loved', another track written by Willie Dixon and recorded by Muddy Waters. the most bluesy track from the entire EP. It's a strong finish to a solid EP.
The entire EP is quality from the start, strikingly a decent balance between staying true to the originals while still gently bending them into classic Black Stone Cherry tracks. It's nice to see a band release an entire EP of tracks paying homage to the blues legends who so heavily influenced not only blues and rock, but music in general. If you're into blues and heavy rock, this is a great EP for you to pick up.
7 out of 10.
Black To Blues is out now via Mascot Label Group.