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December 2001

Roomful of Blues
Watch You When You Go
Bullseye Blues

On Watch You When You Go (Bullseye 11661-9638-2; 42:15), earth-shaking vocalist Mac Odom lends his formidable, soulful pipes to a variety of tunes, from the rocking opener "Roll Me Over" to the classy old-school shouter "You Give Me Nothin' but the Blues" to the funky, clavinet-driven "The Salt of My Tears" to the slightly countrified "Your Love Was Never There." The sly title track hangs on an infectious N'awlins second line groove while the raunch 'n' roll of "Over My Head" sounds like a page out of the Rolling Stones book. Guitarist-bandleader-producer Chris Vachon cuts loose on the stinging instrumental shuffle "Backlash," showing that he is indeed a worthy link in the Roomful lineage that has traveled from Ronnie Earl to Duke Robillard and beyond. They turn in a faithful version of Fats Domino's "Wait and See" with some appropriately N'awlins flavored piano tinkling by Hank Walther. And the instrumental closer "Where's Bubba?" is an opportunity for trombonist Ray Gennari, trumpeter Bob Enos and tenor saxophonist Rich Lataille to stretch out and blow. After 30 years of one-nighters, these quintessential road warriors still have the formula for fun.

Originally published in December 2001
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