on 6 October 2007
It's very difficult to play the blues now without sounding tired and old hat, but the Fabulous Thunderbirds, especially on this and their second album manage to avoid cliche. They have an authenticity to their sound that is raw, primitive and greasy. Jimmy Vaughan plays the guitar with huge amounts of space, so far behind the beat that he sometimes sounds as if he's never going to hit the note. Its a style that's almost the opposite of the pyrotechnics of his more famous brother, Stevie Ray. For a bunch of white boys playing the blues they don't have sound black. They "ain't nuthin but fine, fine, fine!"
on 24 May 2011
Back before the current 'Blues Boom' (everyone going all 'rootsy'), or even the previous one (SRV inspired Strat-and-hat 'searing' guitar types), this record was a shining beacon, showing us that rhythm and blues music could honour it's roots while still looking forward, and that there was a (cool) alternative to the blues-rock smugness of all those guitar 'heroes'. Kim Wilson's New Orlean's R&B came together with Jimmy Vaughan's crisp, lyrical guitar to give us a record that was punchy, hip, and tight, with an attitude that managed to sit well with a post punk British sensibility (one that was DEFINITELY having nothing to do with Clappers and that crowd). Whilst some of the later Thunderbirds albums are best left alone this and the follow-up 'What's The Word' remain the high water mark for R&B combo's. At least round my house.