Blue & Lonesome

So it's a year when your heroes are dying and your ideals are trashed. Then, nearly at the very end,  it redeems itself. Four blokes whose music you've loved since you were fifteen, and who are long overdue their bus passes, release a new album that was reputedly recorded over a couple of days, live in the studio. And guess what.  It rocks, big time. The sleeve notes tell the tale, that they were planning to records some new songs, when they decided to play a blues cover to "cleanse the palate". The result was stupendous, so much so that the new material idea was abandoned, in favour of a return to their early-sixties roots when they blasted out full-on sets of Chicago blues in the underground clubs of Soho and beyond, making audiences go wild with frenzy at these animal boys and their twelve bar workouts and magnetic stage presence.  Fast forward over half a century and the line-up may have been a through a few changes but the magic is undiluted.  Stick on the record and twelve tunes of dirty,  hard-edged, nonchalantly-delivered blues covers blast their way out of the speakers and blow away the cobwebs and downbeat vibes that emanate from this year of disillusion.  The Stones are back, with perhaps their rawest release since Exile On Main Street, exuding a style and swagger that tells you they've still got it and they still mean it. It sounds like a bootleg from The Crawdaddy, 1962. But it isn't. Its from now, the year of the Lord 2016. Time to turn up the volume kiddos and realise that the world is indeed wonderful and alive and full of surprises.  Stick it on and immerse yourself in its dirty licks.  This is The Rolling Stones today. This is Blue And Lonesome.