CD Review - Magic Slim and the Teardrops "Bad Boy"
Magic Slim doesn’t just play the blues, he body slams his audiences with a vicious guitar attack that pins them to the floor. Then the rhythm section jumps in, whomping you with a brickwall backbeat Slim slings his stinging guitar solos against.
Slim’s not one to sit on the back porch and moan. His blues are of the in-your-face variety. He’s a man with a plan: to get even, to get over, to get by. He delivers his ultimatums in a gravely roar that discourages any counterarguments. Siddown, shut up and listen- you might learn something. Slim’s 75-year-old voice creaks and cracks like an old saddle under his weight, - but it still holds up.
For his latest, it’s mostly covers. But with Slim doing the makeovers, he puts his imprint on them so deeply he owns ‘em, He picks up Eddie Taylor’s ‘55 hit “Bad Boy” and rocks it with body punches, his guitar sounding like he’s pulling the strings out a foot from the fretboard to snap back with a stinging twang. Denise LaSalle’s sassy back talky version of “Someone Else Is Steppin’ In” is transformed drastically into a thundering accusation of cheating and payback with Slim slingin' the guitar around like a club, even finding a way to make the line “got a new way of wearing my hair” sound masculine.
“I Got Money” boasts a galloping bassline like Wolf’s “Killin’ Floor” with Slim sounding like he’s picking with a pickaxe, letting the boss know that due to his success with the ponies last night, he’s gonna get his head bad and there’s no need to look for him at work today.
Under his own name, Morris Holt, Slim drops down into Howlin’ Wolf vocal territory on “Sunrise Blues," a stinging, throbbin’ plea for his ex-baby to bring it back home.
Slim keeps on punching hard all the way through. “Girl What You Want Me To Do” stings with Albert Collins frosty licks. His take on “Champagne and Reefer” isn’t as laid back as Muddy's was- sounds like Slim’s more of a juicer, wanting more of a kick before he lays down and relaxes.
His last release was called Raising the Bar, and it did just that. But this time out, Slim’s raised it yet another notch, going for the gold and the title of world’s oldest Olympian. My money’s on Slim to take it all home in 2016.