It sounds like Rolling Stones fans can look forward to a new album from the band before the end of the year — although Keith Richards cautions it may not sound the way they expect.

Telling the Sun that the group's next LP is "in the can," Richards added that "it might be a surprise to people, and I can’t say any more than that right now."

As previously reported, the Stones reconvened in the studio late last year, and according to Richards, the sessions were far more productive than he could have hoped. Saying the December studio time "suddenly gave us a whole load of stuff," he continued, "The Stones have never cut so many tracks in such a short time. That’s not necessarily a guarantee of a good record – but there’s something in the works, and I’d just like to leave it up there in mystery land."

Guitarist Ron Wood added further details in a separate interview with the Associated Press, hinting at a new set that sounds like it could be a blend of blues covers and new Stones originals.

"We went in to cut some new songs, which we did, but we got on a blues streak. We cut 11 blues in two days. They are extremely great cover versions of Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter, among other blues people. But they really sound authentic," said Wood. "When we heard them back after not hearing them for a couple of months, we were, 'Who's that? It's you.' It sounded so authentic."

Earlier this year, Elton John suggested a similar move for the Stones, saying that they should get back to their roots. “What I think the Rolling Stones should do is a great blues record and go back to what they used to do," he said. "Do things like ‘Come On,’ the Chuck Berry song like they did in their early career."

Wood didn't have details of a release date, promising only that the new album would arrive "this year." It'll mark the Stones' first full-length collection of new studio recordings since 2005's A Bigger Bang; the 11-year gap that's elapsed since is the longest drought between albums in the band's history.

The band members will presumably have more time to get the record ready for release now that they're back home from their recent Latin American tour, which included their first-ever show in Cuba. The Stones' new memorabilia display, Exhibitionism, opened at the Saatchi Gallery in London earlier this week.

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