Flashback Friday: The Rolling Stones Sing the Blues with Muddy Waters in 1981


By Max Stewart • Cover Photo by Chuck Holloway


In honor of yesterday’s announcement that the Rolling Stones will be releasing a new album of formative blues covers on December 2nd, we are throwing it back to when Mick and the boys sat in with blues legend Muddy Waters back in 1981.  The band was midway through a U.S. tour at the time, and they just happened to be in Chicago performing a three-night run at the Rosemount Theater.  During their stay in the Windy City, they decided to pop into the Checkerboard Lounge (Buddy Guy’s blues club) to see the father of modern Chicago blues perform on his home turf.  Before too long, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Ian Stewart all accompanied Waters on stage for a snarling cover of the Willie Dixon-penned, “Hoochie Coochie Man”.  As if there wasn’t enough mammoth talent on stage, Buddy Guy, Lefty Dizz, and Junior Wells actually got involved in the fun for the ultimate potion of blues magic.

We can’t wait to hear the Stones go back to their roots on Blue & Lonesome, which will actually feature covers of Willie Dixon and other Chicago blues statesman (Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter).  As Richards reveals in a drawling-yet-classically-brilliant Keef fashion in an interview on Guitar Moves, there is an endless musical treasure trove if fans dig to discover their favorite bands’ inspirations: “What was his inspiration? Who was he listening to? If this cat turns you on so much, he must have listened to a cat that turned him on… Find out who that is… Learn more.”


Blue & Lonesome tracklist

“Just Your Fool” (Little Walter)

“Commit a Crime” (Chester Burnett)

“Blue and Lonesome” (Little Walter)

“All of Your Love” (Samuel Maghett)

“I Gotta Go” (Little Walter)

“Everybody Knows About My Good Thing” (Miles Grayson/Lermon Horton) (feat. Eric Clapton)

“Ride ‘Em On Down” (Eddie Taylor)

“Hate To See You Go” (Little Walter)

“Hoo Doo Blues” (Otis Hicks/Jerry West)

“Little Rain” (Ewart Abner/Jimmy Reed)

“Just Like I Treat You” (Willie Dixon)

“I Can’t Quit You Baby” (Willie Dixon) (feat. Eric Clapton)

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