October 16, 2019 Black Stone Cherry – Black To Blues, Vol. 2 (EP Review)
Everyone has their influences and inspirations, some which are less obvious, while others are clear as daylight in what they create. Such is the case with Kentucky’s own Black Stone Cherry who has been less than shy about their Blues Rock love and admiration. In fact, it was even evident from the early days of their career on their 2006 debut album which united Hard Rock, some Country vibe, and yes, even The Blues. Continuing to proudly wear their roots on their sleeve, in 2017 they put out the Black to Blues EP, a 6 song collection of Blues covers performed with passion. Now, on Friday, October 18th they return with the follow-up to that EP with the second chapter, Black To Blues, Vol. 2.
Out a little over a year since their impressive 2018 full-length album Family Tree, Black To Blues, Vol. 2 comes to you via Mascot Label Group, the label home of many Blues legends. This go around they choose to showcase 6 prime cuts from the likes of Freddie King, Robert Johnson, Otis Rush, Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, and Son House, but all with a very Black Stone Cherry touch.
All all starts with Freddie King’s “Big Legged Woman” beginning with the classic Blues piano playing and remains in the background throughout before the guitars set back in. Meanwhile, Robert Johnson’s “Me & The Devil Blues” has a stronger focus on the guitar instead of the piano, and there are quite a bit of solos to listen for. The same goes for Otis Rush’s “All Your Love (I Miss Loving)” where Black Stone Cherry almost take a bit of a Santana approach.
Meanwhile, their take on Elmore James’ “Early One Morning” includes a touch of Blues Grass with a steady rhythm that will have you nodding along. Which leads us to the final track, Son House’s “Death Letter Blues” where Chris Robertson’s powerful voice guiding you through the song, taking you by the hand telling the story like it is his own. Simply put, this is probably the best song of all on the EP.
Black Stone Cherry’s take on The Blues is a refreshing and fascinating sound while each song they play is packed with the soul this art form requires. That is why Cryptic Rock proudly gives their Black To Blues, Vol. 2 EP 3.5 out of 5 stars.