SLIM & THE TEARDROPS FEAT. BIG TIME SARAH (USA)
July 4th, 22.00
Slim - guitar, vocals
John McDonald- rhythm guitar, vocals
Danny O'Conner - bass
Vernal Taylor - drums
Big Time Sarah - vocals
here for the website of
Magic Slim & the Teardrops..
W.C. HANDY AWARD!
HERE FOR MORE DETAILS..
stands as the greatest living proponent
of the intense, electrified, Mississippi-to-Chicago blues style that spawned
so much of the music played by modern blues artists and rockers. The mostly
original selections on "Snakebite," Slim's new release on Blind
Pig Records, comprise some of the most exciting, hardest-driving music
he and the Teardrops have ever recorded.
Magic Slim was born Morris Holt in Torrence, Mississippi, on August 7,
1937. He took an early interest in music, singing in the church choir
and fashioning a guitar for himself with baling wire which he nailed to
the wall. His first love was the piano, but having lost the little finger
on his right hand in a cotton gin accident he found it difficult to play
properly. Undaunted, he simply switched to guitar, working in the cotton
fields during the week and playing the blues at house parties on weekends.
When he was 11, Holt moved to Grenada, Mississippi, where he met and became
friends with Magic Sam, who gave him a few pointers on guitar. Slim recalls,
"We used to sit up under the tree Sunday afternoons and play our
little acoustic guitars. Magic Sam told me don't try to play like him,
don't try to play like nobody. Get a sound of your own." And that
he did-a trademark guitar tone, featuring the meanest vibrato in blues,
coupled with the raw, earthy power in his vocals.
Years later the two would hook up again in Chicago, where Sam would have
a major influence on Slim's career. When Slim made his first trip to Chicago
in 1955, Sam offered his friend encouragement, letting Slim play bass
in his band and even giving the then lanky Magic Slim his nickname. But
Slim found it rough going on the highly competitive blues scene and returned,
discouraged, to Mississippi to perfect his craft. Demonstrating his characteristic
determination, Slim spent the next five years practicing guitar and teaching
his younger brothers. Nick and Douglas (Lee Baby) to play bass and drums
Confident in his abilities, Slim returned to Chicago and established himself
as a formidable player on the scene. In 1967 Slim put his own band together
called the Teardrops, which included his younger brothers. In 1972 he
began playing regularly at a tiny South Side club called Florence's, initially
filling in for Hound Dog Taylor on occasion and eventually taking over
the gig when Hound Dog left the club for a safer and more lucrative career
on the road. Slim's aggressive, boisterous style was the perfect compliment
to the often rowdy atmosphere at Florence's.
the mid-70's Slim began to hit his stride as a guitarist, performer, bandleader,
and recording artist, launching a career that has taken him across the
country and overseas to national and international recognition. He began
touring Europe, where his rough and tumble authenticity was well appreciated.
By the late 80's he was also touring Japan and South America. On his first
trip to Brazil in 1989, he became an instant hero, appearing on television,
in a dozen magazine articles and every major newspaper in the country.
The press said he stole the show from the likes of Buddy Guy, Etta James,
and Albert Collins. Upon his return to Brazil in 1990, he toured four
cities, selling out all shows.
Slim's recording career began with the 1966 recording of the song "Scufflin",
followed by a number of singles in the mid-70's. He recorded his first
album in 1977, "Born Under A Bad Sign," for the French MCM label
and in 1978 "Highway Is My Home" for another French label, Black
and Blue (since reissued by Evidence). Further releases appeared in the
'80's on Alligator, Rooster Blues and Wolf Records.
Slim's first album on Blind Pig Records, "Gravel Road," was
released in 1990. Its title track was one of the first tunes he learned
to play on his baling wire guitar in Mississippi. The album was well received
by the press, garnering a passel of glowing reviews and landing on several
year-end Top 10 lists. Billboard Magazine said, "The well-traveled
Chicago blues singer/guitarist is near the top of his form on this delightful
album, which comes close to capturing the late-night ambience of Slim's
live set." In 1996, Slim's career came full-circle with the Blind
Pig release "Scufflin',"the title track being a remake of the
song which began his recording career thirty years earlier. Living Blues
called it "No frills houserockin' blues unadulterated by ego-tripping
guest stars, leaden horn charts or limp studio bands... it should bring
a smile to the face of even the most jaded listener." Option Magazine
named it "One of 1996's best sets of gritty, down-home blues."
1998's "Black Tornado" was released to similar accolades in
both the blues and mainstream press. An A.P. syndicated review noted that
"Magic Slim has never been better than on "Black Tornado"
and that is a lot to say." Downbeat Magazine's review called Slim
"a true all star; a guitarist of considerable authority whose lines
snap like a crocodile's mighty jaw and a singer with a persuasive capacity
for wrenching everybit of emotion 'Hil out of his lyrics."
Slim's live performances have become legendary. Standing well over six
feet, Slim cuts a commanding figure on stage, prowling the boards in his
large cowboy hat, filling the room with his slash and burn guitar and
booming vocals. Slim has an encyclopedic repertoire of hundreds of blues
songs in his head, giving the live shows a charming impromptu quality.
Although personnel in the band has changed over the years, Slim's brother
Nick is still playing bass, laying down those pounding lines that are
integral to the Teardrops sound.
"Snakebite," Slims fourth album for Blind Pig Records, is a
studio effort that captures the fierceness and the fun of being there,
live. The title track is a nod to one of Slims mentors, the late Hound
Dog Taylor. "Shake It" is pure rock 'n roll, Chuck Berry style,
while "Please Don't Dog Me," is a slow, sensuous blues, Magic
Slim style. He motors on back to the Delta with Muddy Waters' "Country
Boy" and up to Memphis for the Little Milton tune, "Lump on
Always generous in sharing the spotlight, Slim gives up the driver's seat
to brother Nick, who wrote and sings along with him on the truly funky
"Key to Your Door" and rhythm guitarist Michael Dotson who provides
soulful, rock energy on his tune "Lonesome Trouble." Much like
his live performances. Slim comments on the action throughout, slipping
occasionally into a feral, Howlin' Wolf-like voice. In the midst of talking
to his cheating woman on "Baby Please Don't Dog Me," Slim growls,
"...and you know it makes me mad!" The Wolf would approve.
"Snakebite" packs a walloping punch of ferocious guitar work,
sandpaper rough vocals, and enough blues power to burn a fire extin-guisherfactorytothe
ground. It shows why many consider Magic Slim & the Teardrops to be
"the last real Chicago blues band."
[ NACH OBEN ]