Words & Images by: Joe Russo
Ronnie Wood :: 04.21.12 :: Golden Nugget :: Atlantic City, NJ
Photo gallery below review!
In the recent wake of Ronnie Wood 's second induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame [Rolling Stones and now the Faces], I was fortunate to catch a very rare "one-off" performance by the slide guitar god in the Grand Ballroom at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, NJ last Saturday night. This year marks the Rolling Stones’ 50th Anniversary, and with no tour in sight this was perhaps the next best thing. The 37 year Stones veteran rhythm guitarist brought together an all-star cast for this very special performance. His bandmates included Stones players Bernard Fowler (vocals) and Chuck Leavell (keys), drummer Steve Jordan, bassist Willie Weeks, and an additional piano/keyboard player.
|Ronnie Wood by Joe Russo|
While Ronnie is not used to being a frontman and his bandmates haven’t played much together, the band was exceptionally tight. What made this show so special and rare was that Wood hasn't had a solo tour through the U.S. since 1992, where Fowler and Leavell joined him then, too, and also penned songs with Ronnie during that period. With the Golden Nugget undergoing a massive $150 million renovation, Woody's good friend and casino owner Tilman Fertitta asked him to perform a show to un-officially open up the refurbished casino.
Wood played a wide array of songs from the various bands he's rocked in/with to a smallish crowd of around 1100 lucky fans. Ronnie ran through hits and rarities from the Faces, the Stones, his solo material, and Bob Dylan covers. He blazed through a 16-song 90 minute performance that had everyone rocking and grooving. The laid back rocker was in great spirits, animated and talkative as he patrolled the stage. At one point, Wood takes off his sport jacket and button-up shirt to reveal a Justin Bieber tank top underneath.
“We’re going to make some music tonight,” said Ronnie before opening with the blues rock and harmonica tinged “Am I Groovin’ You” from his 1974 solo debut I’ve Got My Own Album to Do. Wood also performed other original material from his solo career including his gospel-tinged "I Gotta See" and "Spoonful" from I Feel Like Playing.
|Ronnie Wood Band by Joe Russo|
Next up was the Faces’ “Cindy Incidentally,” where Fowler took over the singing duties for most of the remainder of the night. Other Faces tunes included "(I Know) I'm Losing You", "Flyin" and Wood back on vocals for "Ooh La La".
Other notable highlights: Ronnie and his wonder band grooving on some reggae riffage that made Ronnie dance on “Sweetness is My Weakness". Leavell took over lead vocals for a great rendition of the Allman Brothers Bands' "Statesboro Blues". Woody expertly covered Bob Dylan’s "Seven Days," which originally appeared on Ronnie’s 1979 solo album Gimme Some Neck. “Here’s a song I stole off Bob Dylan…Or he gave to me,” quipped Wood.
The night wouldn't have been complete without a taste of the Stones. Woody dug in for a few rarities and classics such as "Black Limousine". The main set was concluded by "It's Only Rock N Roll (But I Like It)" and "Dance". The crowd ate it all up and let the band know they wanted more.
The show wrapped with a two-song encore comprised of blues standard "Worried Life Blues," where Wood sang and played the song like an old bluesman, and finally, Ronnie and the band channeled Rod Stewart and the Faces with the classic "Stay With Me," where Fowler sang and Woody took us out with that mean slide guitar playing of his.
While there is no Stones tour on the immediate horizon, I can honestly say that the Ronnie Wood Band got me rockin.
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