Ever since leaving the Rolling Stones, Bill Wyman has been keeping a low profile -- which isn't quite the same thing as keeping quiet. About a decade after quitting the world's greatest rock & roll band, he formed the Rhythm Kings, a loose collective of friends, pros, and all-stars, all gathered to play the blues, soul, R&B, and old-time rock & roll that his old group no longer played. While the concept for the Rhythm Kings was similar to Ringo Starr's ever-changing All-Starr Band, Wyman's group was more of a studio creation than Ringo's ready-for-the-road carnival, which hauled out the old hits for an appreciative audience nearly every summer in the late '80s and '90s. In contrast, the Rhythm Kings dug out some great blues and R&B chestnuts and added a few new originals in the same style, for a series of mellow and enjoyable LPs, of which 2005's Just for a Thrill is the fourth. If you've heard any of the previous three, you know what to expect -- slick, professional, friendly grooves, impeccably played and delivered with a smile. There may not be any grit and the surfaces may be too smooth, but there's a warm vibe to the proceedings. Clearly, the Rhythm Kings -- who include Albert Lee, Georgie Fame, Andy Fairweather-Low, and Mark Knopfler (on occasion) this time around -- are having a good time, and even if that good time isn't quite contagious, it's still palpable. That doesn't mean that Just for a Thrill is a record that you'd play often -- it's a bit too laid-back and journeyman for that -- but it is nice to hear these old rockers having a good time kicking back and playing the music they've always loved.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine