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Monday, Oct. 22, 2012

Magic Slim & The Teardrops

Bad Boy (Blind Pig)

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Only a small number of blues musicians are still alive among those who were raised in Mississippi and moved to Chicago in the 1950s to contribute to the modern, electric blues sound and influence other forms of American music. One of those musicians is 75-year-old guitarist Morris “Magic Slim” Holt, who just released Bad Boy, his umpteenth album overall and his ninth for the Blind Pig label.

The album includes three originals and nine well-selected covers on which Magic Slim provides fresh and skillful arrangements that justify their remake. From the first note of the first song, Eddie Taylor’s “Bad Boy,” Magic Slim shows what real rocking blues sounds like. His own “Gambling Blues” and “Country Joyride,” as well as his renditions of J.B. Lenoir’s “How Much More Long” and Albert King’s “Matchbox Blues,” are examples of the mesmerizing, high-energy playing that came out of the West Side of Chicago. On mid-tempo songs like “Hard Luck Blues” and Denise LaSalle’s “Someone Else Is Steppin’ In,” Magic Slim is swinging and soulful.

Magic Slim & The Teardrops have been referred to as “the last real Chicago blues band.” Sixty years into his musical career, Magic Slim is the premier guitarist on the blues scene. Those who want to call themselves blues musicians need to listen to this album to know what they should strive for.


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