After the success of the first one, and acting as a nice stop gap between albums, comes Back to Blues Vol. 2 (Mascot Records) – Black Stone Cherry’s second EP covering blues standards from years gone by. Like the first one it comes a year after a proper album, 2018s Family Tree (Mascot Records) in this case, and is chock full of big names. Happily, also like the first volume, it is a joy from start to finish – with the six blues classics given the full Black Stone Cherry treatment.
They have kept the feel of the originals, just beefed up the sound and made them longer. The jaunty vibe and piano of Freddie King’s ‘Big Legged Woman’ is alive and well, with the guitars amped up to match. The hard rocking guitars really make their version of Howlin’ Wolf’s ‘Down In The Bottom’ a joy, they really accentuate the dirty riff and locomotive beat. This heavy bluesy groove is central to ‘Early One Morning’ (Elmore James), sounding like a modern, southern fried version of Status Quo in their frantic four pomp.
It is a window into their influences and a great starting point for those new to the blues, the only problem being it is over too soon. The iconic Robert Johnson and his tale of swapping his soul with the devil for guitar mastery, ‘Me and The Devil Blues’, is here – with a lively vein of funk running through it. Otis Rush’s ‘All Your Love (I Miss Loving)’ is track three of six, which stays true to the mixture of slinky bossa nova and traditional blues stomp.
A Rock n Roll makeover of ‘Death Letter Blues’ by the Mississippi born Son House finishes the EP; an EP which is a blast from start to finish and much like Ghost’s Popestar three years ago perfectly whets your appetite for more.
7 / 10