rolling stones let it bleed country honkCan You Hear the Music?


Rolling Stones songs: Country Honk
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There’s many a bar-room queen I’ve had in Jackson/ But I just can’t seem to drink you off my mind…

Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: Olympic Sound Studios, London, England, May 12-June 5 and Sunset Sound Studios, Los Angeles, USA, Nov. 2-3 1969
Guest musicians: Byron Berline (fiddle), Nannette Newman (backing vocals)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From Songfacts:
This is a country version of “Honky Tonk Women,” which was released as a single a few months earlier. Keith Richards explained on a promotional interview disc: “On Let It Bleed, we put that other version of ‘Honky Tonk Women’ on because that’s how the song was originally written, as a real Hank Williams/Jimmie Rodgers, ’30s country song. And it got turned around to this other song by Mick Taylor, who got into a completely different feel, throwing it off the wall completely.”

This is based on Hank Williams’ “Honky Tonk Blues.”

Mick Taylor, who took over lead guitar when Brian Jones died, recorded with The Stones for the first time on the Let It Bleed album.

Mick Taylor explained: “My part on ‘Country Honk’ wasn’t on a regular guitar; it was on one of those cheap little Selmer Hawaiian guitars, which I played on my lap in regular tuning.”

Byron Berline played fiddle. He was recorded on a Hollywood sidewalk, which accounts for the car horns in the background.

From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
On December 18, 1968, a few days after rehearsals for The Rolling Stones
Rock and Roll Circus
, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards went on vacation for
three weeks to Brazil and Peru with their respective partners, Marianne
Faithfull and Anita Pallenberg. Keith Richards: “We were headed for the
Mato Grosso. We lived for a few days on a ranch, where Mick and I wrote
‘Country Honk,’ sitting on a veranda like cowboys, boots on the rail,
thinking ourselves in Texas.”… “It was written on an acoustic guitar,” he
recalls, “and I remember the place because every time you flushed the john
these black blind frogs came jumping out—an interesting image.”
“Country Honk” is the acoustic, country version of “Honky Tonk
Woman.” In fact it is an homage to Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams,
two masters of country blues and the honky-tonk style. The lyrics barely
differ from those of the electric version released as a single: the setting is a
bar in which alcohol flows like water and hostesses are skilled at making
the customers leave their cares behind. There is one small difference,
however: in the first verse of “Honky Tonk Women,” the bar is located in
Memphis, Tennessee, whereas in “Country Honk,” it is in Jackson, the
Mississippi state capital, perhaps to strike a more Southern, more bluesy

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