The artist that Keith Richards called brilliant and original

Keith Richards, the guitarist and co-founder of the Rolling Stones, has long been a fan of American music. In the 1960s, he collaborated with Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, and Brian Jones to demonstrate to Americans the quality and potential of the music produced in that country.

As a result, The Rolling Stones blended rock and soul with the blues to become one of the biggest bands in the world. Now, more than six decades later, their enduring presence and influence are evident. The group put out 31 studio albums, and over 200 million recordings are thought to have been sold globally.

Richards has had the opportunity to perform and meet a number of his favorite performers throughout the years. The musician previously described one from America that he thought was quite clever and unique.

The artist that Keith Richards called brilliant and original

Richards is renowned not only for his artistic ability but also for being a very genuine individual; hence, when he states he appreciates a certain artist, he is speaking the truth. In a 2015 interview with Esquire, he praised the great American actor and poet Tom Waits as one of his favorite artists.

He is just six years older than Richards, having been born in Whittier, California in 1949. In 1973, he published his debut album, “Closing Time.” He is well-known for his raspy voice and frequently writes songs that combine jazz, blues, rock, and experimental music.

Keith said, “I love Tom dearly. He’s a true American eccentric, and we need more of them, you know. Brilliant guy, brilliant musician. I always had that hankering to do ‘Irene’. I think maybe Tom doing ‘Shenandoah’ a few years ago, the great American folk song, and being involved in that—suddenly I’ve got a 12-string in my hand and it’s time for ‘Irene.’”

He continued, “I’ve had the opportunity with Merle Haggard. All of these guys that I used to listen to — the amazing thing is that even at my age, I’m living in a place where I know all of my heroes, warts and all, and still love ’em. Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, man, if that is not Mr. Rock ‘n’ Roll, 
I don’t know who is. Little
Richard. I love those cats.”

In honor of Tom Waits’ 2023 birthday, Keith just posted a 2001 video on social media in which he refers to Waits as one of the most inventive musicians of the past century. Keith remarked, “He is one of the most original, one of the most talented, most daring artists of the last century, like me (laughs).”

During his career, Waits has released 17 studio albums. He has sold an estimated amount of more than 4.6 million records in the United States. Waits also has a successful acting career, having been featured in movies like “Rumble Fish” (1983), “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992), “Mystery Men” (1999), “The Book of Eli” (2010) and “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (2018).

Richards already played on Tom Waits’ albums and described him as “a great bunch of guys”

In a 2016 interview, Richards discussed his experience working with Waits on his YouTube channel. Keith said, “Tom, bless him, it was great to work with him. Because I only find out later that he never actually writes with anybody. He only writes with his wife. So I realized (It was nice) to work with a guy that doesn’t collaborate with other lads.”

Richards performed guitar on a couple of tracks of the 1985 album “Rain Dogs,” which was the first time he featured on a Tom Waits record. When they collaborated once more in 1992, Richards co-wrote the song “That Feel” in addition to contributing to the album.

2011 saw the two get back together for the release of the album “Bad As Me.” However, Richards didn’t co-write songs with Waits this time; instead, he just played the guitar.

The American musician additionally played live in Oakland with the Rolling Stones, covering the song “Little Red Rooster.” Written by Willie Dixon, the song was first recorded by Howlin’ Wolf.

Strangely, in 2023, Richards called Tom Waits a “great bunch of guys” in an interview with Uncut magazine, citing his constant blending of diverse musical styles. Keith said, “Tom’s music is so American. Probably more folk-American than anything, but somehow modern. He’s a weird mixture of stuff; a great bunch of guys!.”

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