Stones Alone: Keith Richards – Crosseyed Heart

Michael Buffalo Smith

Michael Buffalo Smith

Buffalo hails from Spartanburg, SC. Officially the "Ambassador of Southern Rock," he has written for many publications including Rolling Stone, Relix, Goldmine and his own Kudzoo Magazine. He is also a recording artist and author of six books, the latest being "Rebel Yell: An Oral History of Southern Rock."
Michael Buffalo Smith

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Crosseyed Heart Keith Richards

At the age of 71, Keith Richards is not even entertaining the thought of retiring. On his first solo album since 1992, Keef growls out some Robert Johnson style blues on “Crosseyed Heart” before proclaiming, “All right. That’s all I got.” What follows is one of Richards’ most powerful and eclectic records ever, from the very Stones-like “Heartstopper,” to the set closer “Lover’s Plea.” Backed by Ivan Neville, Steve Jordan and Waddy Wachtel, Richards plays that guitar just as hot as ever, and his unique vocals are out front in the mix and sounding great.

One of the album’s many highlights is Keith’s reggae cover of Gregory Isaac’s 1974 “Love Overdue,” backed with a brass section and smooth harmony vocals from Neville. “Amnesia” finds Keith’s guitar shining like a star. “Nothing On Me” vaguely reminds me of the beat of “Beast of Burden,” but it is just great, especially turned up to “eleven.” One true surprise is Keith’s completely straightforward reading of the old Weavers folk song, “Goodnight Irene,” sounding quite a bit like one Mr. Dylan. And the country rock, Gram Parsonish “Robbed Blind” is just as good as “Dead Flowers” with some shades of Merle Haggard tossed in. There’s also a sweet duet with Keith and Norah Jones, “Illusion.” Another rocking track is “Trouble,” just as good as any recent Stones song.

This bad boy rocks!