Patrick Sweeney and McKinley James of The Tiger Beats join host Ric Stewart for the first episode of Soul Country. They talk blues, country, The Rolling Stones and pursuing blues purity in Nashville. Catch them every Monday at the 5-Spot in East Nashville.
The Rolling Stones played Nashville’s Nissan Stadium on October 9th with the 2021 version of the No Filter tour. It may truly be the last time as principals Sir Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are now 78 and 77-years old respectively. The show began with a touching video salute to late drummer Charlie Watts. During the strong 2-hour performance, the drummer’s stool was ably manned by Steve Jordan.
A sidebar on Jordan is much deserved as he had long been first in line to man the traps for the Stones. Having played in Richards’ side project The X-Pensive Winos, Jordan also has worked with the Rolling Stones proper, both playing percussion on the Stones Dirty Work set in 1986 and co-writing “Almost Hear You Sigh” with Keith. The two first joined forces supporting Chuck Berry for his 60th Birthday tribute, Hail, Hail, Rock and Roll.
With Jordan and bassist Darryl Jones manning the rhythm section, the energy of the band was remarkable. There was no let up in through the program of 19 songs. If anything the Stones seemed refreshed as the show progressed through surprises like a Chi-Lites cover, “Trouble’s a Comin,'” 1967’s “Connection” and “19th Nervous Breakdown.”
“Midnight Rambler” – the self-described signature song of the songwriting team of Jagger/Richards – got reworked with Robert Johnson’s “Come On in My Kitchen” dropping into the breakdown. The song hinted at the blues depths the band plumbed on 2016’s Blue and Lonesome. The unfiltered sound of the band doing it the way they wanted was complimented by an impressive fireworks show worked into the ending. A bigger bang indeed!
Just after a rousing extended version of “Satisfaction” sent the revelers into the night figuring on a wind-down of energies, the evening hit an unexpected peak. In the parking lot as the motorcade spirited the band away, Keith rolled down the window of his SUV limo and pumped his skeletal fist skyward to further rev up the nearby fans. It was as if to say “I came, I saw, I rocked!”
Having seen The Rolling Stones over several decades, it remains astonishing how little Sir Mick’s vocals have diminished. The band, perhaps the greatest 6 decade collective art project of all time, fulfilled the blues hero worship of their youth to play music late into retirement age. The message is clear: the Stones are still kicking, catch them while you can!