Music Review: Ben Walters / Boogie 4 Stu
If there ever was anyone qualified to be called the sixth Rolling Stone, it was Ian Stewart. A founding member of the band, the husky pianist became their road manager and sideman, working with the Stones until his death in 1985. This beloved rock n’ roll character gets the tribute treatment on this new release from boogie-woogie piano specialist Ben Waters, who plays in a side band with Stones drummer Charlie Watts. Waters makes the most of that connection on this CD, calling in favors from Jagger, Richards, Wood, et al … even reuniting the Stones with original bassist Bill Wyman for one track (at least in an electronic sense; they didn’t play together at the same time to record it). Stones fans are, obviously, the most likely audience for this disc, but keep in mind that this is a tribute to a very specific style of piano playing, and the songs are mostly obscure blues and early rock tunes. Waters is a skilled player, the guest list (which also includes Jools Holland, no slouch on piano himself) is impressive, and you can’t doubt Waters’ sentiment for “Stu”. But once you’ve heard one song here, you’ve heard them all.
Watch the official teaser video for Ben Waters’ Boogie 4 Stu here.