Did the Stones ever do country? Really?


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Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 13, 2012 - 12:06pm PT
Driving down alt 93 in the silver state hiking my kings rope hat to scratch my bald spot, and the topic came up again. Now given that their pantheon includes country honk, dead flowers, the girl withe far away eyes et al. The argument can be made (I suppose ) that those are legitimately country songs and them Britts could be said to be able to 'do' country.

The counter argument is, that bands like the Dead, Dylan, the flying burrito brothers etc actually 'do' country as part of their oveuere, ( a word not often used in country, even if i cant spell) where as the closest the stones do is be the stones performing a song with the elements of country.

We seem to be of two minds on this.

What y'all think?

Aug 13, 2012 - 12:14pm PT

By all accounts those fellows put in a lot of time on the road listening to gospel music on the coloured radio station, never mind outfits with two kinds of music, country and western. So yes, they "did" country imo
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Aug 13, 2012 - 12:20pm PT
The stones stole their music from ALL genres! Just like the rest of those British Invasion bastards, lol.

Eagles? Would be shoe horned square into rather mundane country music, these days of course.

ron gomez

Trad climber
Aug 13, 2012 - 12:23pm PT
Seem to remember a country sounding tune on "Some Girls". Far away eyes I think it was called. Check it out.

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Aug 13, 2012 - 12:29pm PT
Read 'LIFE', Keith Richard's autobiography. It gives a fascinating look into all aspects of the Stones' existence. He refers to his musical influences from the very start to the present, throughout the book.

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Aug 13, 2012 - 12:31pm PT
hiking my kings rope hatto scratch my nald spot
Ummm. Wha?

Mick's voice just isn't country, and can't do country. No matter what the boys were playing behind him.

EDIT: I read Keif's autobio "Life" a year or so ago. It was ok, but didn't deserve all the hype and accolades it got IMO. I read Bill Wyman's a couple years before that and thought it was better.

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Aug 13, 2012 - 12:33pm PT
Well, the way I heard it was that those songs were country enough that Buck Owens sued them (not sure if anything came of it) after they had stopped and visited him in Bakersfield and he thought that they had stolen the essentials of some of the songs he was working on. Anybody else hear this story, is it just an urban legend?

Trad climber
Bishop, Ca
Aug 13, 2012 - 12:38pm PT
I did two tours with the stones in the 90s, rigging and lighting. On a few occasions I walked past the dressing rooms and heard them playing around with Woody Guthery and Hank sr stuff but never on stage. But when it comes down to it there are only two kinds of music: the good kind and all the rest.

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Aug 13, 2012 - 12:53pm PT
It was actually Keith Richards who became fast friends of Graham Parsons, who is credited by some for inventing more or less "country rock". He was a huge influence on Richards and taught him the open string banjo tuning for guitar that Richards continued to use.

Parsons went on to discover for himself Joshua Tree and a little unknown gal named Emmy Lou Harris and influenced her music even to this day.


Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Aug 13, 2012 - 12:54pm PT
Fully agree with Roadie on the "good music and all the rest".

Mountain climber
Anywhere I like
Aug 13, 2012 - 01:18pm PT
Somewhat... sweet Virginia comes to mind. Dead flowers played by townes van zant is another. As for them ' stealing' music I find that somewhat bogus. Of course they didn't create that style of music but they were moved by it enough to emulate it which to their credit turned on a whole generation of white bred kids in America to the African American blues coming from the porch es of country stores any one ever heard of John Jackson or John Cephas? Those guys were noticed by record scouts looking for the original sounds the Brits were playing. They found John Jackson( an incredible piedmont blues finger picker) on the porch of a country store in my Virginia home town. Look those guys up they're both dead but I was fortunate enough to see Cephas play and talk about all this. Once of the best shows I've ever seen
Wade Icey

Trad climber
Aug 13, 2012 - 01:19pm PT
Yes. Really.

Trad climber
Aug 13, 2012 - 01:29pm PT
Dead Flowers is a pretty good song. A honky tonk weeper a la one of the Hanks, but about heroin. I used to play it a lot.

But El Cap is right, Keith couldn't do the vocals. He was well aware of the issue, which is probably one of the reasons they didn't do more of them. Not that the rest of the crew seemed to have any idea what to do either-- those songs were panned by critics at the time and for good reason. Just compare any of their attempts at honky tonk to their work with older country blues-- night and day.

That said, I often have either Dead Flowers or CH in a playlist.

Unlike any of the Gram Parsons. GP has to be the most overrated figure in recent music history. Sort of an emo parody of the Louvin Brothers. The best thing he ever did was help Emmy Lou get started.

That tuning he supposedly taught Keith as just another version of the Vastopol tuning popularized by Warbler's great grampa. Tough to imagine someone as well versed in early blues as Keith was, didn't already know it.

The Warbler

the edge of America
Aug 13, 2012 - 02:07pm PT
Prodigal Son from the Beggars Banquet album has a country feel to it, and I play that in Vastopol, or open d tuning. Easy to play, and has a real full, bluesy/country sound with super simple fingering.

Don't know for sure if it was played in open D on the album, but it sure sounds like it. Keith Richards had some fine acoustic guitars to work with on that album - great sound on lots of the cuts - Let it Bleed too.


Looks like it's played in open E, but you can fake it in D

paul roehl

Boulder climber
Aug 13, 2012 - 02:35pm PT
Had a friend, big country and western fan, who swore the best song the Stones ever did was "It's All Over Now" because it was just so Country!
The Warbler

the edge of America
Aug 13, 2012 - 02:43pm PT
I can see that

Aug 13, 2012 - 02:46pm PT
"It's all over now" is such a great song. I'm with Paul.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
Aug 13, 2012 - 02:47pm PT
Torn and Frayed.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 13, 2012 - 02:52pm PT
Will +1!
-and thanks for the spelling tips

20 miles E of tonopah.....

Psst original p , note who gets the credit on love in vain....
The Warbler

the edge of America
Aug 13, 2012 - 02:53pm PT
Howz about this 'un of Exile on Maine Street:


The original studio version:


And this is pretty down home:


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