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Even on his own, Bobby Keys keeps the Stones' rock rolling

for Journal Register Newspapers

Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012

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When Bobby Keys brings his band the Suffering Bastards to town, it's no secret what audiences are going to witness.

"What you're going to see, man, is some rock 'n' roll music played by some real good rock 'n' roll musicians," says Keys, 68, the Texas-born veteran saxophonist who plays regularly with the Rolling Stones and has also worked with most of the Beatles, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, B.B. King and scores of others. He chronicled that career earlier this year in a book, "Every Night's A Saturday Night," but Keys says there's still a pinch-me quality when he considers his accomplishments.

"I never had a master plan or any grand design I was going to work towards," he acknowledges. "I never fancied myself God's gift to the saxophone by any stretch of the imagination; there's hundreds of saxophone players who are technically better equipped than me. I play strictly by feel; I have no idea what's going to come out of that saxophone most of the time, just what I hope is going to come out.

"So it's mostly been trial an error and a lot of luck and a little bit of ability to back myself up in some of the situations I've found myself in."

While he enjoys the Suffering Bastards, which includes Georgia Satellites frontman Dan Baird, Keys is slated to be back in the Rolling Stones world this fall, when the group plays yet-to-be announced shows in Brooklyn and London to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

"Keith (Richards) told me a couple months ago there was something in the wind and just be ready to go," says Keys, who now resides in Nashville. "I'm just waiting for them to send me the plane ticket and the information and the check, and then I'll go."

Bobby Keys & the Suffering Bastards perform Thursday, Oct. 18, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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