Ron Wood - I Feel Like Playing
Rolling Stones and Faces veteran aims high, hits mark. The idea that Ron Wood found the time to make an album at all is amazing given the portion of his waking hours the media would have you believe he spends satisfying other urges. Not only has he done one, it just might bee the best solo recording to ever come out of the Rolling Stones camp. And he even did the cover art himself. I Feel Like Playing plays to Wood's strengths. It is rootsy and unpolished, but at the same time finely crafted and brilliant. He resists trying to force his raspy voice to go places it should not, and does the same with the arrangements. The result is a recording that fits like a good pair of jeans, not the fancy pants Wood often cavorts around in - and pokes fun at in one of the new originals on the album.
Inevitably, there are songs that draw on his recently collapsed marriage and stormy relationships and addiction issues. The opening track, A Thing Like That, and I Gotta See are especially poignant. But his ever adolescent outlook drives most of the album, which includes a couple of tunes with Billy Gibbons that would sound right at home on a pre-EliminatorZZ Top album. Wood also makes good use of Slash, Eddie Vedder, Kris Kristofferson, Bobby Womack and his keyboard partner in the recently reunited Faces, Ian McLagan. Wood's guitar work is in fine form throughout, full of the ballsy swagger Stones fans have come to expect. While Mick, Keith and Charlie seem content doing non-musical things between Rolling Stones albums and tours, Woody always feels like playing. This release will make you glad that's the case.