The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Butt Rockin'

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As with most bands who reach back into styles more than a couple of decades old for their chief inspirations, the limitations of the Fabulous Thunderbirds' approach was becoming apparent by this, their third album. Granted they were still more competent and enthusiastic at their specialty than most of their competition, and they did expand their recorded sound a bit by using some members of Roomful of Blues on sax and piano. Ultimately, though, it's an average if well-done set of roots rock with strong echoes of the blues, New Orleans R&B, and swamp-pop. The program's split between Kim Wilson originals (one of which, "One's Too Many," was co-written with Nick Lowe) and covers, including an unpredictable version of "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White." Actually the highlight is the instrumental "In Orbit," which features excellent Little Walter-styled harmonica by Wilson. The 2000 CD reissue on Benchmark adds liner notes by producer Denny Bruce and three bonus tracks, although no details about the extra cuts are provided.

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