News emerged last year of Chuck Berry’s first new studio album since 1979 and the first song has been released. After Chuck’s passing a few days ago on the 18th March his new album will be a posthumous release, but it’s a joy that he was able to finish the album before his death. The track is called Big Boys and contains the delicious guitar riffs you’ll always associated with Chuck Berry.
Released on the 23rd April 1971, Sticky Fingers was the first album by The Rolling Stones to fully feature new guitarist Mick Taylor, who had been brought in to replace Brian Jones two years earlier. The album also signalled a change in musical direction of which would continue throughout Taylor’s tenure, ending with 1975’s It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll. The music the band made during this time is widely seen as their best and even though Let It Bleed contained some great music, it is, in my opinion, Sticky Fingers that fully cemented their new sound.
Blur were one of the first bands I ever got in to thanks to my dad having The Great Escape on CD which I used to play over and over in my bedroom. I credit that album, and Graham Coxon’s guitar playing in particular, as a main reason I play guitar today. I vividly remember playing along to the likes of Charmless Man and It Could Be You on my imaginary blonde Fender Telecaster just like the one Coxon himself played. It would be a few years later before I had my own guitar but the seed was firmly planted, ready to bloom. Over the years Blur have meant more to me than any other band, aside from Derek and the Dominos perhaps, so hearing that a new album was complete and a release date had been set was music to my ears.
There are often a number of albums per decade which have continued to stand the test of time decades since release, and Texas Flood by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble is definitely one of them from the 80’s. It’s also one of the finest debut albums by anyone and really injected the blues with a much needed adrenaline shot, bringing the genre back to the ears of millions.
Last month John Mayer released Wave One from his new album The Search For Everything, essentially the first four songs of the album. And today Mayer released the next four, Wave Two, and I’ve been listening to it non-stop all day. These four songs build on the brilliance of the first four and contain so many different vibes, tones and genres it’s unreal.
Recently I had the huge pleasure of interviewing Bobby Whitlock, one quarter of the legendary Derek and the Dominos, on his soon to be released new studio album Tornillo and upcoming tour. I interviewed Bobby for the first time back in 2012 and have spoken to him multiple times as I complete my biography on Derek and the Dominos, and speaking to him again on his new album and tour was a joy.