Sunday, March 31, 2013

"Bad Boy" Perhaps Is Magic Slim's Last Recording

Bad Boy on Blind Pig unfortunately is the final recording of Morris ‘Magic Slim’ Holt who passed away on February 21, 2013 at the age of 75. Over the past forty-five plus years Magic Slim and the Teardrops toured all across the United States (eventually establishing the Zoo Bar in Lincoln Nebraska as home base) and around the world captivating blues lovers with their non-stop Delta-rooted Chicago blues. A terrific live band, Slim's recordings usually captured this.

The last edition of the Teardrops included Andre Howard on bass, Jon McDonald on second guitar, and Brian “BJ” Jones on the drums and they provide the strong driving rhythm to propel the twelve performances here starting with the Eddie Taylor blues that provides this album with its title. Its a pretty diverse collection of material including an interesting rendition of Denise LaSalle’s Someone Else Is Steppin’ In, with Howard contributing a second vocal. One of the best tracks here is a driving rendition of Detroit Junior’s I Got Money, with plenty of stinging guitar, and the following Sunrise Blues, which is a prototypical Magic Slim performance at medium walking tempo.

Girl What You Want to Do is a driving number with a bass line that evokes Mustang Sally and certainly will fill dance floors. I do believe Slim previously recorded for the Austrian Wolf label Roy Brown’s Hard Luck Blues, but certainly there was nothing with him revisiting. Gambling Blues, is a rocking original and the Teardrops get the tempo up for J.B. Lenoir’s How Much More Long, although it doesn’t strike me as one of the most realized performances here. Better is Matchbox Blues, a clever reworking of Albert King’s recording, with plenty of stinging guitar and a tight groove.

A spirited instrumental Country Joyride concludes this album although unfortunately Slim will no longer able to play for us later as he tells us during this tune’s closing. Given the fact Magic Slim had a few dozen albums over his life time, one might be hard-pressed to include this as among his best. Perhaps a couple tracks here are not Slim at his best, but there is still much first-rate blues on Bad Boy.

I purchased my copy. Here is Magic Slim performing the title track.

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