The undisputed Queen of Chicago Blues, vocalist Koko Taylor, has quite an entourage on her ROYAL BLUE outing. Kenny Wayne Shepherd's guitar shimmers like a mirage on Taylor's gritty-as-the-Sahara cover of Melissa Etheridge's "Bring Me Some Water." B.B. King plays lead guitar and shares vocals with the Queen for the shoutin' party at the "Blues Hotel." Johnnie Johnson, the St. Louis piano legend who has recorded with artists as diverse as Chuck Berry and the Kentucky Headhunters, turns the ivories into fast-flowing tears on the Ray Charles/Percy Mayfield-penned slow blues "But on the Other Hand" as Taylor growls and prowls through the tale of good lovin' in a bad relationship. Johnson also sits in for the Chicago-style "Ernestine," which Taylor penned, and Buddy Johnson's sassy "Hittin' On Me." But the real charmer of the set is Taylor's country blues love ballad "The Man Next Door," which features the singer sharing vocals with Keb' Mo' and only his National Steel Guitar and harmonica backing them. Produced by Taylor, Alligator label owner Bruce Iglauer and gospel guitarist Criss Johnson (who only leaves the church to produce and play on Taylor's recordings), the rest of ROYAL BLUE features the singer's driving Chicago sound on catchy originals and soul-blues covers with a touch of funk and occasional blasts of horns to keep it in the contemporary arena.