The Fabulous Thunderbirds circa 2008 may be a shadow of their former hit-making, ass-kicking, no-prisoner-taking selves, but they're not a pale, soulless shadow. Though only singer/songwriter/harmonica wailer Kim "Pops" Wilson remains from the band's classic '80s line-up (guitar god Jimmy Vaughan split in 1990), the band's rarely rocked or rolled harder than on its last studio album, 2005's Painted On. Steve Berlin of Los Lobos produced the album and punched up the Thunderbirds' juicy horns, divergent percussion and gloriously vulgar guitars. Wilson's full-bodied blues shout cuts through hooky originals and covers of Leroy Washington and Waylon Jennings, proving that if the Thunderbirds aren't the only daddies who'll walk the roadhouse line, they're still "tuff enuff" to walk it loud and proud.
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