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Bill Wyman Rhythm King's Live

Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings

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Album Review

When Bill Wyman left the Rolling Stones, he didn't leave music at all. Instead, he went back to the songs he loved growing up, whether it was rock & roll or big band or folk/skiffle. Now, those tracks make up the majority of songs performed during Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings Live, taped during a Berlin concert in June 2005. Supported by a talented cast of musicians including guitarist Albert Lee, Wyman and company are introduced one by one, with each then joining in for a fun and lively boogie version of "I Got a Woman." Each member of the band takes their turn on lead vocals, with Albert Lee taking charge during the swinging, big band bop of "Jump, Jive and Wail," while "Baby Workout" has the soulful pipes of Beverley Skeete. For the most part, the album shows a group content to weave through some older rock and pop selections without any huge revisions. A good example of this is "If I Can't Have You" with its old-school doo wop feeling. Meanwhile, the lone Wyman tune is the slightly punchy and playful "Jitterbug Boogie" that brings to mind Brian Setzer and his big band orchestra. And he takes the lead for the strolling "You Never Can Tell." The bluesy "Bright Lights, Big City" is the first highlight, with a gritty blues format that sounds somewhat fresh and fully fleshed out. And the chugging skiffle fuelling "Muleskinner Blues" isn't too shabby, either, resembling something Mark Knopfler might be interested in. A few tracks miss the mark, though, and are run-of-the-mill, particularly "Race with the Devil," "Flatfoot Sam," and a plodding "I Shall Not Be Moved." The group obviously could be easily compared to Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, particularly with the mid-tempo tone of "Let's Talk It Over." But they fail miserably with the choice of covering Iggy Pop's staple "Wild One (Real Wild Child)."


Born: 24 October 1936 in Lewisham, London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As a member of the Rolling Stones for three decades, Bill Wyman established himself among the greatest bassists in rock & roll history; in tandem with drummer Charlie Watts, he belonged to one of the most stalwart rhythm sections in popular music, perfectly complementing the theatrics of Mick Jagger and the gritty guitar leads of Keith Richards. Born William Perks in London on October 24, 1936, Wyman was playing in a group called the Cliftons when he was asked to join the Stones in mid-1962,...
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Bill Wyman Rhythm King's Live, Bill Wyman
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