No, not The Rolling Stones. I’m talking about a rolling stone, as in an individual that can stay pinned down in one place – or one relationship – for too long.
That’s what Louisiana Red was singing about in the song that I like to cover every now and again (actually, all the time). And while the lyrics are plenty powerful in their own right and remind me of my younger ramblin’ days, it’s the musical elements that keep bringing me back again and again. I got to reading about Louisiana and found out that his early upbringing- like that of many of his contemporaries – was unimaginably rough. His mother died shortly after his birth and his father was lynched by the Klu Klux Klan during Louisiana’s formative years. So if you wonder where the gritty, intense emotion in his voice, guitar, and harp (that’s a harmonica for the uninitiated) come from, it’s probably safe to assume that the blues took hold of him right from the get go.
Louisiana made a decent go of it early in life, achieving a measurable degree of success as a blues singer, but he eventually found himself laboring to make ends meet and dealing with another round of family tragedy and estrangement. Fortunately for me and the rest of this music-lovin’ world, his blues career was reignited while working as a truck driver in one of the rougher parts of greater Newark, New Jersey. He finally found the appropriate level of fame and fortune late in his life, relocating to Europe and finishing out his life as a beloved blues icon.
This karmic retribution of sorts is how and why the track “Rolling Stone” thankfully made it’s way into my body and mind a few years back. And I’ve been working on it ever since.
“Rolling Stone” is the lead track on my album “Live in NYC”. You can buy it on iTunes and other major music services. It’s also available for streaming on Spotify and other popular music streaming services.
If you’re interested in a deeper introduction to Louisiana Red’s music I’d recommend starting with either “Sweet Blood Call” or “Louisiana Red Sings the Blues”. Either album will do, but diving into both will be twice as nice.