Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman has given fans a preview of his first official solo album in more than 30 years, Back to Basics, which will be released in the U.K. on June 22. The album’s entire lead track, “What & How & If & When & Why,” has been posted on the Proper Records label’s official YouTube channel.
The song is a bluesy mid-tempo rocker with a punky edge that features Wyman speak-singing in a gravelly whisper of a voice. Here’s a little sample of the lyrics: “The morning cocks are crowing, an evil wind is blowing/ You feel your juices flowing, and you wonder where you’re going/ You hear about a shooting, and plan a different routing/ And you end up hiding, even though you’re law-abiding.”
Wyman had said the songs on Back to Basics were influenced by such artists as Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Neil Young and J.J. Cale. Among the musicians who contributed to the album were ex-Dire Straits keyboardist Guy Fletcher, former Paul McCartney and Pretenders guitarist Robbie McIntosh, and two band mates from Bill’s group of Wyman’s The Rhythm Kings, guitarist Terry Taylor and drummer Graham Broad.