What could be better? One of the world's best stadium rock bands getting down and dirty in the muddy waters (pun intended) of some pearless blues classics.
Just from the tracklisting you know that this is going to be a superb album and, after the slightly dodgy "Ladeez and gennlemen Step right up..." intro, you're not disappointed. Homage is duly paid to all the blues greats, Blind Willie McTell, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon etc and their songs are given the full hard rocking, hard balling Aerosmith treatment.
This is not to say that everything is the same tempo and sound. The album sets off at a cracking pace with Steve Tyler in full flow, but after "Baby Please Don't Go" (perhaps the best-known and also perhaps the least well played here) things do settle down...a bit. "Never Loved A Girl" adds in some Memphis Horns, Joe Perry, with assistance from Tracy Bonham, takes over vocals on "Back Back Train", which makes a nice change. The arrangement of "You Gotta Move" is just awesome, and the one Aerosmith original, "The Grind", while showing echoes of their epic ballads of recent vintage, has enough bump and gristle, and a great hook, to make it anthemic. Joe P contributes one more vocal, "Stop Messin' Around", and the album closes with a more traditional, acoustic song, "Jesus On The Mainline" to bring everyone back to earth.
This is the album that I'll wager the Stones or Bon Jovi would have liked to have made, if they'd thought of it first. Blues purists will probably throw their hands up in horror, to hear these tunes given a good seeing to, but it's done very well and the boys obviously had a blast performing them. If you like your rock hard, not heavy, you cannot fail to love this album.