REVIEW: Stone Country – The Songs of the Rolling Stones (Various)

The sixth review from Mike and Aaron Go to Toronto…Again!  This CD was given to me by A himself.
This is also a SIMULTANEOUS REVIEW!  The far more Stones-knowledgeable Aaron has reviewed the same album today: take a look!

STONE COUNTRY – Country artists perform the songs of the Rolling Stones (1997 Beyond Music)

STONE COUNTRY_0005Country artists covering the Stones? Sure, why not?  You might be surprised by the common ground exhibited here on Stone Country.

You can’t mistake “Honky Tonky Woman” right from that opening cowbell.  Travis Tritt sounds natural performing this one, because it’s already so country.  I dig it.  Travis Tritt’s always been one of those country guys who I respected.  He didn’t seem like a sell-out to me.  And he’s never cut his hair either, so fuck yeah!  This is a very rocking country version, and it sounds very alive in the studio.  It has some serious thump too.

Tracy Lawrence on the other hand, I wrote off years ago, because if you hit a woman, you lose my respect.  However I gotta be honest — I dig his version of “Paint It, Black”.  I told Aaron a while ago, “I never need to hear another cover of that song,” but I was wrong.  I can add this one to my library without shame.  It’s cool how the exotic and country sides meet without conflict in this version, and there are cool solos (organ and guitar) to boot!

STONE COUNTRY_0003“Ruby Tuesday” by Deana Carter, on the other hand, doesn’t “rock” per se, but it’s “Ruby Tuesday” and it doesn’t suck!  It’s softer and has some twang in the vocal and fiddle, but the strings are still there pumping up the chorus.  Up next, “The Last Time” is transformed into a bar room country chug by The Tractors.  There’s plenty of cool  guitar playing to keep you satisfied, but this isn’t one of my favourite Stones tunes to begin with.

Rodney Crowell then takes a challenge upon himself with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”.  What an iconic song, and inherently youthful and edgy.  He changes the guitar riff to a fiddle one, and holy shit!  It works!  This track smokes!  There’s even a sax solo.  How rock n’ roll!  High five, Rodney.

STONE COUNTRY_0002Sammy Kershaw has sold a lot of records over the years, but I truthfully don’t know if I’ve ever listened to him before.  He chose to cover the ballad “Angie”, a bold choice, since it relies so heavily on the voice.  The gamble paid off.  “Angie” does not stray far from the original, and it’s amazing how well Mick’s idiosyncratic vocal delivery works with a little twang in it.   Well done Mr. Kershaw, you have a great voice.  Respect!

Blackhawk transform “Wild Horses” into a fast bluegrass ramble.  I’m reminded of Blue Rodeo in a big way, who have plenty of songs that sound this way naturally.  I’m not too keen on the vocals, but there is some serious pickin’ going on here!  I don’t think I had ever heard Blackhawk before this.  I can say the same for Collin Raye: heard of him, never heard him.  Raye takes on “Brown Sugar” which has a great guitar sound.  This sounds like a good bar band’s take on the song, which is all you really need.  It’s punchy, and would work great just before a bar fight in a seedy strip club in some Bruce Willis cop movie.

I’m on record with “Beast of Burden” being one of my fave Stones tunes of all time.  It’s untouchable to me.  So Little Texas (out of Nashville!) have a lot to prove to me.  But shit, they managed to do it!  The song still has that swanky sway, punchy bass, and it does not suck, until the “pretty pretty girl” breakdown in the middle.  Other than that, it’s pretty good.  Then country veteran Nanci Griffith does “No Expectations”, which was originally a B-side, so kudos to her.  It was originally a slide guitar country song anyway, but Griffith takes it up in tempo and mood.  Just one comment:  what a voice!

Saving the biggest name for last, George Jones sings “Time Is on My Side”, not a Stones original but a song they did make famous.  This slow dance is perfectly suited to Jones’ balladeering.  I can picture in my mind the ladies in the audience swaying to the sound of Jones’ spoken word section.

Aaron reckons that he found this CD for no more than $2.  In that case I say money well spent!

3.5/5 stars




        1. And good thing, too. That’d be the surest way to make sure no one ever listened. Whenever I listen to the radio, and I hear what these people say, I almost always would have said the exact opposite. So, yeah. Good thing.

          Fortunately for you, I AM on the internet, and I can jabber away on a blog! And you can drink in all of the majesty! Mwah ha ha ha!

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Neither really, although Gram comes close to acceptable at times. We possibly dont have enough wide open spaces to appreciate country properly over here.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. I always figured Gram was cool for hanging with Keef. Good enough for Keef, good enough for me. And those duets with Emmy Lou… daaaammnnn… Anyway, if you can find the double CD of GP/Grievous Angel for cheap like I did, it’s WELL worth the shot.

          And wide-open spaces? I think we got your share over here, honestly. Yours and everyone else’s.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. … Taking you through the night on Late-Nite Jazz FM, here’s one to stroke all you cool cats out there Miles Davis with ‘All Blues’ …


  1. And herein lies the beautiful subjectivity of music listening! I’m glad you liked this. It was a bit of a roll of the (tumbling) dice even giving this to you. You make some valid points – like I said in my jabbering about it, maybe I need to come back in a more forgiving mood. It didn’t work for me, but it worked for Mike! Right on.


      1. Well, you can’t always get what you want, but I’m glad that pun worked out. If it hadn’t, time is on my side, so I would’ve come up with one eventually.

        It pleases me that you liked that CD, and the Paul MacLeod! You give so much goodness to the AAAA, it’s nice to be able to give back!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Too much music – that’s a thing? I had no idea!

        I think I’ve played written up all the ones you gave me (I’d have to check) but I’m nowhere near done all my Taranna scores. Instead, I’m listening to f-in Oasis. I oughta get my head examined.


        1. It’s a person! Well that makes sense, a play on Paris Hilton, presumably. And probably worth as much of our time as she is – good call, Dude.

          Avoidance +12, level up.


  2. Nevet heard o’ this one. I like the Stones and country, so I may well like this. That said, there looks to be a few big hat country shenanigans happening on this.


  3. Interesting idea – my favourite stones record on any given day might be ‘let it bleed’ and there’s a noticeable country feel on that one.
    For a toonie, sounds like a decent return on investment!


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