This latest incarnation of Roomful of Blues is quite possibly as formidable as any lineup assembled since the group's inception in 1967. "Standing Room Only," Roomful's second record for Alligator, is

This latest incarnation of Roomful of Blues is quite possibly as formidable as any lineup assembled since the group's inception in 1967. "Standing Room Only," Roomful's second record for Alligator, is a tour de force of horn-fired blues. There isn't a slack moment anywhere in this 14-song collection, starting with the slammin' jump blues of opening cut "She Put a Spell on Me." Savor the slow burner "Sufferin' With the Blues" and the fine groove of "Straight Jaquette," an instrumental penned by Roomful's ace sax man Rich Lataille that recalls the sound and swing of tenor sax great Illinois Jacquet. The new year has only just begun, but it will be very difficult for any blues act to surpass the overall level of excellence displayed throughout "Standing Room Only." Roomful is so tight and so right here that the only reasonable conclusion is that this engine is once again hitting on all eight cylinders.—PVV