The Grammy Museum extended its 50 Years of the Rolling Stones panel at SXSW to a tribute concert Thursday at the Red Eyed Fly that featured a baker’s dozen acts interpreting the music of the Rolling Stones.
Acts alternated between the faithful and the fully re-imagined, the sturdiest renditions coming from acts steeped in Americana. Most bands did three Stones songs each and often tossed in an original; in multiple cases, it was clear the Stones’ rootsy material was cut from a different fabric than the bands’ originals.
Boston’s Air Traffic Controller, in an acoustic lineup that included mandolin and fiddle, shone on “Loving Cup”; Jamestown Revival’s spot-on and harmony rich “You Gotta Move” was an early highlight; Della Mae and the Howlin Brothers made bluegrass magic out of “No Expectations” and “It’s Only Rock & Roll,” respectively; and the trio Barcelona dramatically altered “Gimme Shelter and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” to fit their electronic mold.
The evening’s reliance on musicians well-heeled in rootsy tastes of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the boys made for rich interpretations short on sex appeal, riffs and dance-oriented tracks.
Basia Bulat amazed her fellow musicians with her takes on “Ruby Tuesday” and “Out of Time” and when Jamestown Revival added their own “California” to the set, listeners unfamiliar with the songs were immediately hooked. Other performers included Elizabeth & the Catapult, Bobby Rush and Wild Party.