The Blue Stones
|Wed Mar 18, 2020||07:00 PM|
Listening to the larger-than-life, dense, but precise, garage blues-rock of The Blues Stones on their debut, Black Holes, it is astonishing to discover all that sound and fury is created by just two people. Longtime friends, guitarist/vocalist/lyricist Tarek Jafar and percussionist/vocalist Justin Tessier, have known each other since meeting as teenagers in high school, but it wasn’t until almost five years later, while attending university together, that they decided to combine their talents on guitar and drums, respectively, into a musical project.
The Blue Stones are firmly in the tradition of other such rambunctious duos such as The Black Keys, The White Stripes and Royal Blood, at once harking back to the glory daze of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix Experience and their Motor City rock ‘n’ roll models from the other side of the Detroit River, The Stooges, MC5 and Alice Cooper. Throw in modern influences like Kentucky guitar-slingers, My Morning Jacket; and New Orleans’ rhythmically tight MUTEMATH; rappers Jay Z, Kanye West and J. Cole, along with seminal blues giants Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf and B.B. King, and you get an idea of the Blue Stones’ musically eclectic palette.
From the slap back echo and the Rolling Stones “ooh-oohs” in the gut-punching “The Drop” through the tribute to perseverance in the martial snare, bluesy singalong of “Rolling with the Punches” and the acoustic-to-electric whisper-to-a-scream dynamism of the title track, Black Holes shows a band blasting into outer space and leaving “Solid Ground” behind. It’s the voyage of a group beginning to find its way, emerging from isolation and perspiration to inspiration, reaching an audience waiting to be tapped, and entertained. A rock ‘n’ roll band fighting the good fight, looking to connect in an increasingly fragmented music universe.