Friday, July 19, 2013

Magic Slim & the Teardrops “ Bad Boy ”

By Phillip Smith

Morris Holt, aka Magic Slim, who passed away last February at seventy six years old, still had it going on.  His voice was still going strong, and he sounded great.  Bad Boy, his newest release with the Teardrops (guitarist Jon McDonald, bassist Andre Howard, and drummer BJ Jones) is completely saturated in the blues.  I’d expect nothing less.  Bad Boy consists of a few covers, some older originals, and some newer originals.

Slim brings everything to the table on Roy Brown’s ‘Hard Luck Blues’.  From the emotional beginning when he sings, ‘well rocks is my pillow, and the cold ground is my bed.’, to the sorrowful ending where he’s sings “I’m gonna find my mother’s grave, fall on the tombstone and die”.  Slims playing is outstanding and his Gibson sounds great, as he carefully places each note played.

I love the Eddie Taylor cover, and title track, ‘Bad Boy’.  This one is the ultimate homage to us boys your parents warned you about.  The original version was really slow, while Magic Slims version is faster and a little more upbeat.  Hands down, I like Magic Slims version better.  I also like their cover of Denise LaSalle’s ‘Someone Else is Steppin’ In’.  This song is just so rich and hearty.  Although I admit, if I had to make a choice between the original or Slims version, I’d have to throw my vote to Denise LaSalle.  Her version is a bit sassier.  Also covered is Albert King’s ‘Matchbox Blues’.  To compare Magic’s with Albert’s would be comparing apples to oranges, but the song itself is extraordinary and Magic Slims version is very nice.      

Original tracks to make note of are ‘Older Women’, a song, Ben Franklin would probably enjoy, and ‘Country Joyride’, with a little smidgeon of rockabilly influence.  There really aren’t any “throw away” songs.  Bad Boy is solid blues from start to finish.
  




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