For the better part of 40 years, Mick Jagger has played to roaring stadium crowds while his older brother, Chris, embarked on his own music career to the awareness of few and the applause of a very select fanbase. Chris Jagger's latest album, Concertina Jack, features younger brother Mick singing background vocals on two songs, the title track and "Pearl of a Girl."
In the low-budget video for "Concertina Jack," there's a slight family resemblance between Mick and Chris, but their performances styles couldn't be more different. Chris is the yin to Mick's yang, the doughy good guy to Mick's scrappy bad boy. Chris, dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, boogies to the camera as he sings, and dances and cooks bread with children, grinning widely throughout.
Despite Chris's relative anonymity, he had been passionate and persistent with music, combining blues, country, and rock on seven solo albums since 1973 and releasing three zydeco albums with his band Atcha (which changed their name to Atcha Acoustic for 1997's From Lhasa to Lewisham). Concertina Jack is technically being issued by Chris Jagger's Atcha!, which explains the zydeco and blues influences; it's his first release since his 2009 solo album The Ridge.
My brother Chris Jagger has a new album called Concertina Jack, & I'm singing on the title track. See the website: http://t.co/J5w5LMYYrQ
— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) December 6, 2013
Chris Jagger's Atcha! recorded much of Concertina Jack at Mick's studio in France. "I knew the band would be down there like a shot enjoying the atmosphere and making a good record in the bargain," he said on his website. Other songs were recorded live. Rolling Stones horn players Bobby Keys and Tim Rees also contributed. "I grabbed them right before the Stones appeared at the O2 as Charlie lives in Lewisham right next to the O2," Chris said. "I drove them there just in time for soundcheck."
Concertina Jack may be a stretch for Stones fans, as is the rest of Chris's catalog, but Chris has never strived to follow in his little brother's big footsteps, though he did contribute to the lesser Stones albums Dirty Work and Steel Wheels.
"[Jagger is] quite a name to live up to, but then it's a good benchmark, too, and many people forget that my brother is a good songwriter above else," Chris said. "I write different songs because we are really quite different personalities. Musicians like new tunes to play because that gives music an originality. It's hard to come up with a new twist but we have done our best with Concertina Jack and I think it succeeds in parts."
Chris fully understands he will never rise to the fame and glory of his little brother, and that's just fine with him. He is married and has five kids, and continues making music on his own terms. In addition, he has experienced success with various other projects. He studied theater and has appeared in numerous plays (including one with Pierce Brosnan), films, and TV programs. In addition, he has worked as a journalist, contributing articles to Rolling Stone, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Mail, and The Independent.