English rock musician Ronnie Wood recently admitted to working with former bandmates from Faces on new music – yet to be released. In an interview with The Times where Wood openly shared about his experience living with and recovering from lung cancer, he shared the following: “Me, Rod and Kenney have been recording some new Faces music…I’ve had a front-row seat on some amazing rock ‘n’ roll projects these past couple weeks. I’m making every-day count. Not wasting a moment.” While this artist is most known as one of the replacement guitarists for The Rolling Stones, many fans know him from his previous band – Faces. It was during Wood’s time in this band that he first collaborated with Kenney Jones (who later joined The Who) and Rod Stewart. This new project will produce new material for the first time since their fourth and final studio album, “Ooh La La,” which was released in 1973.
Faces, which was formed in 1969, and continued touring until 1975, was originally comprised of Steve Marriott (guitar/vocals), Ian McLagan (keyboards), Ronnie Lane (bass guitar/vocals), and Kenney Jones (drums/percussion). These five artists went by the name Small Faces (1965-1969) until Steve Marriott left the group. At this time, Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood joined the band and they rebranded with a shorter moniker. Unfortunately, Kenney Jones is now the only surviving original member of the band. Steve Marriott passed away in 1991, Ronnie Lane in 1997, and Ian McLagan in 2014.
While Faces remains a fairly obscure band to those whose repertoire isn’t centered on classic rock, a couple of their songs continue to have enough rotation on radio stations for others to recognize the chorus at the very least. Once such hit is entitled “Stay with Me,” and was released on their third (and second to be released in 1971) studio album A Nod is as Good as a Wink…to a Blind Horse. In general, this album was praised, especially by critics and even contains a song named “Memphis” penned by Chuck Berry. This album’s sound – an eclectic mix of bluesy and psychedelic rock was even listed in Robert Dimery’s book, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
Although Faces released their last studio album in 1973, they continued touring until 1975 and subsequently released their only live album Coast to Coast: Overture and Beginners. In addition, they later released a greatest hits album, Snakes and Ladders/The Best of Faces, and several compilation albums – including one as recent as 2018. Several times since the 1970’s, the band has reunited for appearances – particularly when asked to headline various charity events.
As you will see, all three members continue to be prolific in their various musical and non-musical pursuits.
Ronnie Wood, who released the statement about Faces members working together again, can boast a plethora of accomplishments and creative projects. Currently, he is set to release a solo album in September of 2021 entitled “Mr. Luck: A Tribute to Jimmy Reed.” During this time, he will also be launching a short U.S. reunion tour with The Rolling Stones. But music isn’t his only interest. In fact, in his online biography, Wood is lauded for not only his musical career, but for his other talents. Specifically, “He’s enjoyed a remarkable parallel career as a highly regarded artist and, as a natural raconteur, and has won a record three prestigious Sony Radio Personality Awards.” The biography also goes on to claim that Ronnie helped to “write the blueprint for British hard rock” and was instrumental in “laying the groundwork for burgeoning rock acts like Led Zeppelin.” This site also shares exclusive stills of his paintings, including a curated landscape collection. You can check out images of his art-work here.
Rod Stewart, while more known for his solo work, is still active in the music scene and continues to tour. Over the past decade, however, he has been awarded a long-term residency in Vegas. According to his publicist, “Rod Stewart will celebrate the 10th anniversary of his acclaimed residency at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace when he returns to Las Vegas for nine shows this fall. Over the past ten years, the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has packed an arena-sized concert into an intimate concert experience that’s exclusive to Las Vegas audiences – with no seat more than 145 feet from his majestic stage.” Stewart’s ability to continue to draw such large numbers of attendees really speaks to his continued value as an artist. Once he finishes out his celebratory anniversary, in 2022, he will be launching his next world tour entitled “A Night of Hits,” with multiple dates in North America, Australia, & New Zealand.
Kenney Jones has also pursued various other passion projects, although he is still best known for his skill as a drummer/percussionist and his expert opinion on the various brands producing drum kits. This talent was recognized early in his life, possibly due to his prolific participation in various groups. According to the biography on his website, “By this time  Kenney was recognized as one of the top drummers in the rock industry, and it was no surprise that he was The Who’s choice to replace Keith Moon after his tragic death.” In addition to perfecting his craft, Jones is also known as an accomplished polo player/enthusiast. He also created and manages a children’s charity (developed in memory of his deceased band mates) and penned and published a memoir in 2018. He is still actively touring as part of The Jones Gang, although tour dates have been delayed since the beginning of the pandemic.
In closing, it is fascinating to see how active these artists continue to be – five decades after their initial fame. Ronnie Wood, Rod Stewart, and Kenney Jones continue to produce and perform in a myriad of ways. And while they may each be known for their musical contributions outside of Faces, fans of the original band continue to seek out new experiences with the three surviving members. Much to their delight, it looks like their hopes will be fulfilled in 2022. It is yet unknown if Faces will participate in a reunion tour, as all three artists will be touring next year with their other projects.