Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Magic Slim and the Teardrops - Midnight Blues (Earwig, 2008)

Playing the old school Chicago blues in all of its raucous glory, Slim and and the band rip through thirteen textbook examples of no frills, take no prisoners electric blues. Slim's strong guitar playing and deep, protean vocals lead the group through a mix of originals and covers like the explosive version of Hound Dog Taylor's immortal rave up "Give Me Back My Wig" and stomping versions of "Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad" and "You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had." Slim must have something against cats, because felines get the short end of the stick on "Crosseyed Cat" and "House Cat Blues." Slim's vocals are so strong that he sometimes overwhelms the microphone... forgive me but the first time I heard "Spider in My Stew", I thought he said he found a spider in his stool(!) Hmmm... that would give you the blues, wouldn't it! But regardless of the lyrical content, the band lock into a deep and wide blues groove that is present in all of the music here. Bass and drums clear the path like a great offensive line and then Slim's vocals and sting guitar come blasting through like a tailback headed for a touchdown. Fans of traditional electric blues will be thrilled by this disc, which is filled with strong, earthy and justifiably proud music.

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