Robin Trower's first rock, as opposed to blues, studio album in five years, returns the guitarist to the fluid, Hendrix-infused trio sound of his salad days. While the songwriting isn't quite up to the quality of his '70s work, Trower's snaky, echoed, languid guitar and his powerful duo's sympathetic backing make this a welcome addition to his extensive catalog. While the smooth, soulful whisky-soaked vocals of original singer Jimmy Dewer are sorely missed (Trower, who handles some of the singing here is at best adequate), the songs still shimmer with the uniquely silvery quality fans have come to expect from the guitarist.
Karen Carroll has plenty of opportunity to strut her stuff on her debut, Had My Fun. Unlike many contemporary blues albums, which are highly polished blasts of blues-rock, Had My Fun takes its time. Many of the songs are torchy slow blues or down and dirty Chicago blues – either way, they sound natural, never forced. That's appropriate, since Carroll sings like a natural, caressing the ballads and growling the nastier numbers. Best of all, there's actual grit in the production – four of the songs were recorded live – and that allows Carroll to achieve her full potential on this impressive debut.