With a deep, in-the-pocket feel at work in every track, this may well be Roomful of Blues' crunchiest album in a long, long time.

With a deep, in-the-pocket feel at work in every track, this may well be Roomful of Blues' crunchiest album in a long, long time. The swamp blues rumble of "Over My Head" and the muscled-up sound of "Fair Weather Friend"—both keyed by Mac Odom's throaty vocals—are more rugged than what the band has delivered in recent memory. Also admirable are the uptown strut of the instrumental number "Where's Bubba" and the ultra-tight buzz of the opening track, "Roll Me Over." Odom has never sounded better or more soulful, and his bandmates are so on top of their game that the album swings without pause. Roomful's stalwart horn section—Bob Enos (trumpet), Ray Gennari (trombone), and Rich Lataille (tenor sax)—recently snared the 2001 W.C. Handy Award in the blues instrumentalists horns category—and their performance here, blow by blow, offers further testimony to the major nature of their chops.—PVV