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BILL WYMAN'S RHYTHM KINGS - Just For A Thrill (2004)
If there's such a thing as a world-class bar band, the former Rolling Stones bassist's Rhythm Kings qualify. Core members Albert Lee and Terry Taylor (guitar), Georgie Fame (keyboards), Graham Bond (drums), and, of course, Wyman himself, are among the Who's Who of British blues and R&B. No wonder the grooves flow so easily on these 15 tunes, which range from boogie and Delta classics to Motown soul to disco, even including a cover of the Beatles' "Taxman" delivered as a tribute to George Harrison, who played on the previous Rhythm Kings CD, 2001's Double Bill. Some interesting song choices and compelling vocal turns provide the highlights. The first is the neglected New Orleans gem "Down Home Girl," where Fame's molasses phrasing captures the laid-back pace of idealized life in the Crescent City. Beverly Skeet ignites "Cry Baby" in tribute to Janis Joplin, who immortalized the Garnet Mimms tune. And Ray Charles gets props with three numbers from his catalog, including a live recording of "Georgia on My Mind" that's beautifully rearranged for vocals and jazz guitar--the album's most adventurous turn. Wyman says he's ending the group's 16-year run here. If that's so, Just for a Thrill is a fitting swan song.
Mark Knopfler, Albert Lee and Georgie Fame head an all-star guest list that is sure to have avid jazz, blues and old school rock fans chomping at the bit for former Rolling Stone, Bill Wyman's 2004 solo effort. - amazon.com
TRACKS: 01. Disappearing Nightly 02. Roll 'Em Pete 03. Down Home Girl 04. Mississippi Flyer 05. That's How Heartaches Are Made 06. Booty Ooty 07. Cadillac Woman 08. Town Living 09. This Aint United Nations 10. Memphis Woman 11. Taxman 12. Just For A Thrill 13. Cry Baby 14. You Don't Know
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