Black Stone Cherry: Black To Blues EP Review

The tradition of artists reinventing blues classics is almost as old as the genre itself. The Kentucky-based rockers Black Stone Cherry are the latest musicians to point their instruments at the blues with their new EP Black To Blues, released last week. The six-track EP features some of our favorite songs from four blues giants: Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Albert King and Freddie King all get nods from Black Stone Cherry as the band puts its own hard rock spin on each track.

Black To Blues is best embraced as one band’s interpretation of the blues. Black Stone Cherry doesn’t bring anything revolutionary to these blues standards–admittedly, at this point in history, it’d be surprising to hear a cover of “Born Under a Bad Sign” that gave Albert King’s original a run for its money. But for listeners that have dual appreciation for Black Stone Cherry’s hard-edged, full-bodied sound and Muddy Waters’ sultry, swaying style, this EP will be an exciting addition to their music library. “Champagne & Reefer” is one of the standout tracks, starting with a steady march before welcoming Chris Robertson’s lead vocals. Robertson’s wide vocal range is of great use to the EP: he delivers swagger on “Born Under a Bad Sign” and brings a gruff edge to “Hoochie Coochie Man” that recalls the deep tone of Waters’ original. The biggest change on a song like “Hoochie Coochie Man” is the expanded sound in Black Stone Cherry’s version; in addition to introducing a horn section, they also incorporate metal-styled bass riffs to build upon a deeper, darker rhythm section.

Black To Blues is for anyone who wants to hear a modern take on blues hits of old. The hard rock style updates the blues standards, proving that the stories and sentiments expressed in the originals are just as representative of the human experience now as they were when they were new. For those that are fans of Black Stone Cherry and those that are simply interested in fresh interpretations of songs snuggled deep within the blues cannon, this is an EP worth checking out.

The Review: 7.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Champagne & Reefer
– Born Under a Bad Sign

The Big Hit

– Champagne & Reefer

Review by Meghan Roos

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

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