June 12, 2003
On The Road Again
Another chance to hear Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings in concert - this official bootleg Rhythm Kings album features tracks recorded during Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings' 2002 tour and features the regular band members.
Liner notes - by Bill Wyman
"Having been lucky enough to have a home here for thirty years it seems strange to think that this is the first time I have toured France with my own band. I thought I should tell you a little bit about the Rhythm Kings, and why I started the band. In actual fact there have been many bands with a name like ours. In the late 1940s and early 1950s Ike Turner's band was called the Kings of Rhythm. Albert Ammons, the brilliant boogie pianist, had one called the Rhythm Kings in the 30s. It's a name that's synonymous with the kind of music we play.
We have been 'together' now since 1997, which is when I enlisted the help of some old friends and recorded Struttin' Our Stuff, our first album. The idea behind the band was that it should be a fluid group allowing for different people to play together, both on record and on stage. Since that first album we have recorded three more; amongst my friends who have played with me are George Harrison, Albert Lee, Martin Taylor, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton and Chris Rea and that's just the guitarists! Georgie Fame and Gary Brooker were involved for quite a while but their own touring commitments have precluded them from being with us this time.
The current Rhythm Kings line up is as good as any that has gone before and in some ways the best yet. On keyboards we are lucky to have two people that are admired by musicians everywhere. On Hammond organ is Chris Stainton, acknowledged as a master of his craft. It's too often a cliche when people say 'he has played with everyone', but in Chris' case it is true.
Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Brian Ferry, The Who, Ringo Starr and Joe Walsh are just some who have had his distinctive Hammond sound on their records and live shows. Fewer people may have heard of 'Mad' Mike Sanchez, but once they have heard him play they love what he does. Mike is one of the last of the great boogie-woogie pianists, has a great voice... and he's also really young!
On guitars there is the great Albert Lee who has been with the band since the earliest days. Although it hardly seems possible, his playing just gets better. Terry Taylor has been my friend and writing partner for thirty years, and he's also a fantastic guitarist.
This year for the first time on stage we have another fantastic guitarist, Andy Fairweather Low. Andy has been a friend for many years and played with me in my 1980s project Willie and The Poor Boys, he also is a member of Eric Clapton's band. For our type of music you have to have a brass section and in Frank Mead and Nick Payn we have two of the very best.
Our drummer is one who, like Chris Stainton, has a pedigree that reads like a who's who of rock. Graham Broad has played with Roger Waters, The Beach Boys, George Michael and Stevie Wonder to mention just four. Elton John, Whitney Houston and Robbie Williams are just three of the hundreds of artists that have benefited from Beverley Skeete's backing vocals. In the Rhythm Kings we go one better by having Bev sing lead, and I guarantee that you will leave the show wondering how come you had not heard of her before.
It gives me such a thrill to play our kind of music to audiences that appreciate real musicians, playing real instruments... with not a computer to be seen. I hope you enjoy the show as much as we do playing for you... and by the way, I'm the bass player.
(Ripple Records RIPCD 0040)
Full track listing
On The Road Again