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Blogarrhea Best of 2016 >>

It's been a rough year. Most of my friends are sticking up their middle finger to 2016, as am I. I can only wonder which heroes of mine will bite the dust in 2017...but that's for another Blogarrhea. The following annual all-list blog is not supposed to represent the most important or the best-selling or even the most accomplished CDs of 2016. I have done nothing my entire life but listen to music and tell people about it. So these are the ones I got the most excited about. Before the lists commence, please note that Leonard Cohen's 'You Want It Darker' (Columbia) and Paul Simon's 'Stranger To Stranger' (Concord) are my two favorite CDs of 2016. That said, on with the show.

Rolling Stones

REVIEW: The Rolling Stones, 'Totally Stripped,' Eagle Rock Entertainment >>

In 1995, the Stones, after touring in support of 'Voodoo Lounge,' went into studios in Japan and Spain to re-record some classics, stripping them down to their bare essentials -- lyrics and melody. Called 'Stripped,' it also included show snippets from London, Paris and Amsterdam. Twenty-one years later, 'Totally Stripped' (Eagle Rock Entertainment) revisits the same format with similarly spectacular results.

Ernie Watts

REVIEW: Ernie Watts, 'Wheel Of Time,' Flying Dolphin Records >>

It was November 1981. I was still married to my ex-wife. With no kids yet, we could rock'n'roll and the Rolling Stones were in town. When they went into "Brown Sugar," there was saxophonist Ernie Watts blowing big to recreate the iconic Bobby Keys sax solo. Man, did he wail! I've loved him ever since. There isn't any rock'n'roll on his new 'Wheel Of Time' CD (Flying Dolphin Records). It's only jazz but I like it.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones Plan to Release New Blues-Covers Studio Album, First Since 2005 >>

From HBO's Vinyl to Crosseyed Heart, the members of the Rolling Stones have kept busy. Recently, however, the anti-Beatles announced they will release a new, blues-inspired album later this year.

Bettye LaVette

REVIEW: Bettye LaVette Brings Café Carlyle to Tears with Old Songs from New Album 'Worthy' >>

When you walk into Café Carlyle, it's clear that not just anyone can take the stage. It has to be SOMEBODY. Most recently, that somebody was the Great Lady of Soul, herself, Bettye LaVette.

Rolling Stones Saxophonist and Contributor Bobby Keys Dies at 70, Keith Richards Says He Lost 'Greatest Pal in the World'

Rolling Stones Saxophonist and Contributor Bobby Keys Dies at 70, Keith Richards Says He Lost 'Greatest Pal in the World' >>

Longtime saxophonist and collaborator to classic rock legends The Rolling Stones, Bobby Keys, died Tuesday at the age of 70. Now, the iconic rock'n'rollers are paying tribute to their late bandmate and friend.

Don't Call Them Cute: The Beatles Celebrate 50th Anniversary, Reflect on Social Change Forever >>

Earlier this month, Brit rock 'n' roll's pretty boys celebrated the 50th anniversary of their universally lauded February 16, 1964 Ed Sullivan debut.

Blues Clues: Mississippi Teacher Chevonne Dixon Uses the Delta Sound for Reading, Writing and Arithmetic >>

Fourth graders at Tunica Elementary in Mississippi are being taught the blues to learn about rhyme and rhythm, essentials for exploring young creative minds.

Alexandre Desplat Keeps the Score for Wes Anderson's First Non-Pop OST, 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' >>

Trailers for Wes Anderson's new film The Grand Budapest Hotel have recently circulated as un-skippable ads on YouTube and pre-film entertainment in movie theaters. The fantastic Mr. Anderson may appear to be immovable--in that his Futura technicolor has become standard--but his use of popular music as a detailed brush stroke to the cinematic fanfare has changed from the Rolling Stones and Kinks-centric soundtrack for The Darjeeling Limited.

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