This Oklahoma City five-piece plays a brand of bluesy rock with just the right amount of grit and soul. Wish I Had You, the band's recently released third effort, is filled with authentic roots music that never descends into parody. Hints of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Tom Waits get equal time in stout numbers such as "When It's Bad," "God Knows I'm Tryin'" and "Through No Fault of My Own." Making old music sound new is no easy task, yet by never taking themselves too seriously but still having the proper reverence for their influences, the Rounders are categorically better than the generic name might imply. Singer Brian Whitten growls and moans as if he's channeling Howlin' Wolf while dual guitarists Ryan Taylor and Michael Stone provide an ominous and economical backdrop. Much more traditional than the White Stripes or Black Keys, but also decidedly more listenable, these five Okies create a grooving and poignant racket that pays not a speck of attention to fashion or the whims of pop culture.
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July 12, 2007 | 4:00am|