Ron Wood, Buddy Guy, and their dueling Strats paint a bloody good picture for the crowd at last summer’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago. Photo by Chris Kies
that.” So we did that in a couple of takes,
just live. And it had a good feel about it.
And then I said, “Well, I’ve got these ideas to
put around these words, like ‘What do you
want to go and do a thing like that for?’”—to
be said in a Southern accent. I think it would
make a great country and western song,
actually. It should be played on a country station, with Kris Kristofferson writing the words
to the verses. He was at the House of Blues,
and I just happened to bump into him and
Don Was on the steps going in. Kris showed
an interest, and I said, “I’ve got this chorus—I
need some words for the verses. Come on, Kris,
write something for me, would ya?” And he
said [assumes John Wayne-like drawl], “Okay,
Ronnie. But I can’t do it today. Give me ’til
tomorrow and I’ll come back with a couple
of verses for you.” And he did, and I loved it.
Y’know, “I hear that old coyote howlin’ at the
moon,” and things like, “Liberty is all I ever
wanted, holy fire is what I need.” Yeah, really
typical Kris, and really helpful.
146 PREMIER GUITAR NOVEMBER 2010
And [Pearl Jam vocalist] Eddie Vedder was the
same way with helping me on “Lucky Man”
and “Catch You.” It was great to get Bobby
Womack back out of the woodwork, as well,
to kind of help me with some backgrounds.
He was pleased with my singing, and so was
Rod Stewart. He came in at one time and he
said, “Oh, you’re singing really well.” He said,
“I give you the stamp of approval now—you
are a vocalist.” And, coming from Rod, that
was great—and Womack and Bernard. But, I
had great people in the studios nearby, like
Slash and Billy Gibbons, coming through. He
[Gibbons] said, “I’ve got a song for you, man.
[Sings] I’ve got a thing about you.” And Slash
is always easy to work with. He says, “What
do you want me to play?” I said, “You know—
just go out there and play.” And we played
together, and he knows what I want.
What a great story. You mentioned Slash,
Billy Gibbons, Flea—and Bob Rock played
on it, too—and one of the interesting things
when I listen to the album is that, on a lot
of albums with star-studded lineups, you can
really pick out the famous player because
what they’re playing sounds like it’s coming
from one of their own projects. But on this
album, everyone really blends in.
Yeah, I sometimes don’t know which is me playing or which is Billy Gibbons or which is Slash.
The great thing is, we have an understanding
that it’s a front room, very casual kind of feel. It’s
not like, “Okay, you’re featured here.” No, none
of that. It’s just very natural.
It’s like everyone surrendered their egos
and just contributed to the music.
I’ve always done my solo albums like that.
There’s always been a very mutual understanding, and everyone’s just kind of, like you say,
they drop whatever egos they have. Normally,
I don’t work with people with egos . . .
And I don’t mean it in that way—but it’s
just so cool because you listen to a track
and you’re not thinking, “Oh, that’s Billy
Gibbons right there,” because it’s got that
Texas boogie groove.
On that song “Thing About You,” I don’t
know which part he’s playing. The only bit that
gives him away is when he goes doooooo.
You know that’s him, his little signature.
Did you approach writing and recording
for this album differently than you would
for a Stones record?
Yeah. On a Stones album, for a start, you have
to get it passed by “the board,” y’know. Jagger
and Richards don’t accept a suggestion very
easily, because they’ve already got it sewn up.
So you’ve got to have a pretty good song to
get it by the board—which I respect. And, in