[18 July 2013]
Covering the Rolling Stones seems to be a thankless task, but it’s what John Batdorf and James Lee Stanley have dedicated two albums to doing. Like its predecessor, All Wood and Stones II finds the duo playing folk-pop renditions of Jagger and Richards’ catalog. Both have pleasant voices, and the album showcases their skilled guitar playing as well as some competent arrangements. However, Batdorf and Stanley do little beyond perform these songs capably. Sometimes they stumble upon new shades of grey, such as on their version of “Miss You”, which strips the song of its sexual menace to focus on the despair underneath it all. Overall, though, these are just Stones songs without the fire and energy that made us love the Stones in the first place.