rolling stones corinna 1997Can You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: Corinna (live)

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Have mercy, have mercy/ Baby on my hard luck/ Honey on my hard luck soul…

Written by: Taj Mahal/Jesse Ed Davis
Recorded: TWA Dome, Sr. Louis, USA, Dec. 12 1997
Guest musicians: Taj Mahal (vocals)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs, The Story Behind Every Track book:
“Corinna” is a twelve-bar blues track that goes back to the early days of field recordings. Blind Lemon Jefferson recorded a version by C. C. Rider in 1926 under the title “Corrina Blues.” Two years later, it was Bo Carter’s turn to record it. A member of the Mississippi Sheiks, he had apparently been inspired by the sheet music piece by Roger Graham, “Has Anybody Seen My Corinne?” published in 1918. It was followed by countless more versions from artists such as Big Joe Turner, Robert Johnson, Bob Wills, and Bob Dylan.

Taj Mahal used the name “Corinna” for a song on his second album, The Natch’l Blues (December 1968). That album also featured Native American guitarist Jesse Ed Davis. Taj Mahal and Davis took a very traditional song and created something entirely new. A longstanding friend of the Rolling Stones—appearing with them in their famous Rock and Roll Circus in December 1968—Taj Mahal was invited up onstage during the Stones concert at the TWA Dome in St. Louis, Missouri, on December 12, 1997, for a mid-tempo rendition of “Corinna.”

Taj Mahal starts the piece off, both as lead singer and on dobro. Mahal is an extraordinary performer, and as Jagger rises to the challenge, they deliver a rendering of the highest quality. The song has a swinging groove thanks to the fine rhythm section provided by Charlie Watts and Darryl Jones. Keith Richards is playing his black 1959 Gibson ES-355, getting a rather minimalist solo (starting at 2:04), based mainly around the same three notes. As far as guitars go, it is Ron Wood who steals the show, playing slide guitar on his Weissenborn Hawaiian steel guitar. Jagger is on harmonica, showing once again that he has become one of the best blues harmonica players in the business. Lastly, special mention must be made of Chuck Leavell’s fine piano accompaniment. “Corinna” is one of the Stones’ most successful covers, thanks in part to the talented contribution of Taj Mahal.