Watch the Rockin' D: Solo online guitar lesson by Joe Deloro from Blues Rock Road Trip
In the lesson text, The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions are referred to as a payback from producer Mick Jagger. Actually, there's a lot more to it than that, and the London/Chicago connection is at the center of it. As we've already established in previous lessons, in order for musical styles (such as the Blues) to survive and develop they have to be passed from one generation to another, and then modernized.
These London sessions in 1970 marked the completion of that passing as well as the unquestioned commercial viability of its now established younger Blues-Rock session men. That is, in that era, any album with the rhythm section of The Rolling Stones with Eric Clapton on lead guitar and Stevie Winwood on piano, was guaranteed to sell through the roof to rock fans, regardless who was singing. Let alone the fact that the lead singer was a Chicago Blues artist, and had just turned 60 by the time the album was released on Chess.
Ironically, the transition mentioned above is also inferred in the album cover painting itself. Set in London's Trafalgar Square, it depicts the following scene: the Wolf sitting by himself with a well-travelled guitar case looking off into space as four of the album's superstar sidemen hang out and look in different directions, London was now Blues-Rock headquarters.
And today, as Cream's four sold-out reunion concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall in May of 2005 attest, British Blues-Rock is still in great demand.