Friday, July 6, 2012

Bernard Fowler, Brugnera July 1st, 2012

Bernard Folwer played his own dynamic version of funk-rock at Brugnera’s  Blues&Jazz Festival.  Does the name vaguely ring a bell?  Well, it should as Bernard has only been singing with the world’s greatest rock and roll band, the Rolling Stones, for the last 23 years!  Yes, he’s part—along with Lisa Fischer and Blondie Chaplin—of the fantastic trio-chorus that backs up Jagger & Richards on their world tours and albums.  He’s also been a featured guest vocalist on the majority of solo albums released by the members of that great band.

Bernard first joined Sir Mick on his first solo album, “She’s The Boss”, in 1985. He was later chosen to join the Stones on their Steel Wheels tour in 1989.  Jagger said of Fowler on backing vocals that he impressed him because he had a wide vocal range, many musical influences, and stamina.  And in 1998 he said the following of Bernard: "He is also very strong and can sing for ages. He's got a lot of range and a lot of stamina vocally. You have to have that if you're going to do long nights and lots and lots of shows, all in the open air; he can easily keep up with me."

He has remained as a regular backup singer on tours with the Stones since then and has also appeared on Charlie Watts’s jazz solo albums, Keith Richards’s “Main Offender” LP as well Ron Wood’s solo projects.  He’s sung on about twelve different Stones albums, quite impressive indeed.  And one can only imagine the amazing stories that Bernard has to tell on Mick, Keith and Co.!

The Brugnera concert featured Bernard decked out in what else but a Stones’s t-shirt and was backed up by three fine young musicians on stage.  Indeed a special treat for this correspondent as he’s seen the Stones (and Bernard) live now four times: 1990, 2003, 2006 and 2007 in both Rome and Milan. 

And by the look and sound of his singing, it looks like Bernard has no plans to retire soon either (as the Stones will probably hit the road again in the near future for another fantastic world tour)!

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