Release Date: Jun 22, 2015
Record label: Proper
Bill Wyman didn't quit making music once he quit the Rolling Stones in the early '90s, but he did put it on the back burner. A decade later, he started the Rhythm Kings -- a loose collective of similarly minded rockers including Gary Brooker, Georgie Fame, and Andy Fairweather-Low, at least on occasion -- but he didn't do a full solo album until 2015's Back to Basics. The title is a giveaway that Wyman remains in a casual roots mood, knocking out a bunch of originals that amble or shuffle but never hit hard.
William George Perks takes his time. The recent reissue of the Rolling Stones masterpiece Sticky Fingers is a reminder of how great a bass player Bill Wyman was: check the way he locks Sway together. On his first solo album in ages he’s still anchoring the beat with aplomb on a set of convivial, slow-paced tracks whose breezy funky grooves are reminiscent of JJ Cale or Willie Nelson, albeit sung in a Lewisham accent.
It seems to be the season… After Ringo Starr’s latest we have The Rolling Stones’ former bassist stepping up to the plate. But while the Fabs’ drummer has turned out regular long-players over the decades, Wyman has spent 33 years coming up with Back To Basics. Bill, like Ringo, tours with a band of musicians – The Rhythm Kings – happy to bask in the presence of a legend.