It's safe to say that the vast majority of R&B fans have never even heard of Coal Kitchen, an interracial soul/funk band (three white and two black) that consisted of Carla Peyton and Paulie Carman on lead vocals, Rob Newhouse on guitar, Andre Mossotti on bass, and Bobby Carlin on drums. Thirsty or Not...Choose Your Flavor, Coal Kitchen's only album, received very little attention from the public. Full Moon/Epic didn't do much to promote the 1977 LP, and as a result, it bombed commercially. Creatively, however, it isn't a bad record -- uneven and less than remarkable, but decent more often than not. There are two sides to Coal Kitchen: the gritty funk side that asserts itself on "Chained to the Train of Love," "Git It," and "Keep on Pushin'," and the soft, gently romantic soul-pop side that is heard on "Ain't That the Kind" and "Back on the Track." Coal Kitchen's lighter, more romantic offerings tend to be very pop minded -- in fact, parts of this LP have a lot of adult contemporary appeal. As it turned out, the band's first album would be its last; Coal Kitchen broke up without ever recording a second LP. It didn't take Thirsty or Not...Choose Your Flavor very long to go out of print, and it is most unlikely that the album will ever be reissued on CD.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson