Picks and Pans Review: Tuff Enuff

updated 04/14/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/14/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Fabulous Thunderbirds

As Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell sang, "Ain't nothin' like the real thing." Compared to most of the spurious roots rock and retro-R&B being foisted on the public, the Fabulous Thunderbirds are indeed the real thing. Their bluesy sound is powerful, menacing and thoroughly authentic. Tuff Enuff might be the album to lift them out of juke joint status and get them the recognition they deserve. Producer Dave Edmunds adopts a fairly reverent attitude towards the T-birds' gritty style, but manages to emphasize their cleaner rockabilly qualities. On this record, Preston Hubbard replaces veteran Keith Ferguson on bass. The rest of the quartet, based in Austin, Texas, is founding guitarist Jimmie Vaughan, older brother of Stevie Ray, drummer Fran Christina and Kim Wilson. A songwriter and superb harp player, Wilson also has a humble but pure voice that recalls Clarence Carter. Highlights of the record include a soulful cover of Sam and Dave's hit Wrap It Up, the hard-rocking Amnesia, and the roiling honky-tonk of Look At That, Look At That. Anybody's record collection would be pretty anemic without a dose of the Thunderbirds. Here's a most palatable cure for that problem. (CBS)

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