Stones Releasing Blues LP, Cuba Concert

The Rolling Stones have announced two noteworthy upcoming releases – a live set that demonstrate their ongoing vitality onstage, and a studio recording that strips away the pretense and simply, thrillingly pays homage to their blues inspirations.

The Stones’ first studio album in over a decade, Blue & Lonesome consists of 12 rather spontaneously recorded covers of not-so-obvious songs by the classic bluesmen that originally inspired them, including Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Magic Sam, Eddie Taylor, Lightnin’ Slim and Jimmy Reed. Eric Clapton, who was recording next door, walked over and sat in with the band on Little Johnny Taylor’s “Everybody Knows About My Good Thing” and Otis Rush’s “I Can’t Quit You Baby.” The entire album (out Dec. 2nd) was recorded by producer Don Was without overdubs in a mere three days, after attempts to record new original material stalled, and what we’ve heard so far sounds astonishing. Believe it!

Havana Moon, meanwhile, is taken from the free outdoor show the Stones played in Havana, Cuba this past March for upwards of a million fans, becoming the first rock band to play such a large-scale show in the Caribbean communist dictatorship. The abridged concert (two songs have been inexplicably axed from the original concert – blame it on Castro!) will be released Nov. 11th via Eagle Rock Entertainment on DVD and Blu-ray, coupled with a double CD or triple LP, depending on your chosen format.