Don Was has co-produced all of The Rolling Stones‘ albums since 1994’s Voodoo Lounge, including the band’s 2016 covers collection Blue & Lonesome, which just won a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album. It’s been widely reported that The Stones had been working on original tunes earmarked for a new album at the time they recorded Blue & Lonesome, and Was recently discussed the status of that material.
“They definitely wrote some new songs, and they’re definitely not done making records,” Was told ABC Radio. “But everything’s in a pretty early stage at this point.”
Recalling the sessions that yielded Blue & Lonesome, Was reported that the project came together spontaneously when The Stones hit a London studio to record the aforementioned new songs.
“We’d never worked in there before…So we decided to work out the bugs by playing something familiar, and Keith [Richards] called out [the Little Walter song] ‘Blue and Lonesome,’ and thankfully the tape was running,” Don explained. “And we went in the room and listened to it, and it was just killer. So, it was like, ‘Let’s do another one [and] another one.'”
The studio whiz noted that the band cut five blues songs on the first day alone, then did four or five more the next day. During the sessions, Eric Clapton, who was working on his own album at the same studio, came by and added guitar to two tracks.
“It was fun, and after three days we’d finished it and we put it away,” Was said. He notes that the decision to release the blues recordings as an album came a few months later, after Don had mixed the tracks and played them for the band when stopped in Los Angeles on tour. The result was a Grammy-winning collection.
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