Rod Stewart has said he wants to swap his rock and roll music for a different style. There could be temptations lying in wait for him when he puts it into practice.
He’s been speaking for a while now about changing the direction of his long musical career. Last year Stewart indicated that his rock and roll tours would end in 2023. He commented on how being away from home for so long on massive tours was getting hard and how much he missed his kids.
Stewart is back in the UK now preparing for a series of big summer concerts ending in two dates at the iconic Edinburgh Castle on July 6 and 7. He’ll be supported on the tour by the amazing Boy George and Culture Club.
Ahead of those dates, Stewart's been talking to the media about his future plans beyond those gigs. As the Evening Standard reports, he added some more clarity on his plans to move away from rock and roll.
"I am actually stopping. I’m not retiring but I want to move on to… I had great success with The Great American Songbook and I’ve just done a swing album with Jools Holland, which is going to come out next year so I want to go in that direction. "
"So I just want to leave all the rock ‘n’ roll stuff behind, for a while maybe… Everything has to come to an end sooner or later."
Stewart has been collaborating with musician and TV host Jools Holland on a new swing-based album. It seems to have been recorded for a while now, and a release is being scheduled for 2024, well after his summer dates.
The pair know each other well, and in a rather unusual claim for rock stars, they share a love of model trains. In 2019, both stars individually called up a BBC radio show, as phone-in listeners and without being booked to appear, to talk about their model railway collections. With Stewart’s experience of swing music from his five-hit American Songbook albums and Holland’s love of the music with his Rhythm Orchestra, you’d expect a great connection between the two for the new album.
Aged 78, and with that preference to be at the family home rather than touring extensively, the shift from rock and roll performing to a swing album does make great sense for Stewart. It seems a logical step in his music after his time with Faces in the early days and right through his long solo career. But perhaps that's where another challenge will distract the legendary rock singer.
As lead singer of Faces, he and the band made some great rock and roll records that have endured through the years. Their live performances were notorious for being one large musical party on stage and helped set his reputation as a true rock and roll star at that time.
Rod began mentioning late last year that some new Faces music was in the offing, with the remaining band members getting back together again. Their drummer Kenney Jones shared more news on that, as reported by GoldRadioUK last December.
"We've done about 14 songs, it's a mixture of stuff we never released which is worthy of releasing and there's some new stuff which is really wonderful."
"Rod is writing the lyrics and he's really keen on it."
At the time Jones also speculated about Faces playing live again.
"Whether or not we're going to go on a big extended tour remains to be seen."
"What we have decided is to do some really big gigs like The O2, Madison Square Garden, some other big venues in America."
"Nothing elaborate on stage, just bring back the Faces live."
That may well mean a slight change of heart for Stewart, given his news on stepping away from rock and roll performing and touring in particular. The question mark already seems there in Jones’ thinking over more extensive US tours. It’s hard to imagine that Stewart wouldn't be tempted to get the band back together again for some one-off memorable gigs and events. Don’t bet against an appearance at Glastonbury 2024 would be my speculative tip!
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