Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

WATERMELON SLIM

TRAVELING MAN

2020-07-10

Watermelon Slim is a throwback to an age when all a blues musician needed was a guitar, a harmonica and a willingness to sing about the daily facts of life. On this, his 14th disc, he is captured live at the Blue Door in Oklahoma City and the Depot in Norman, Oklahoma. With an employment history that includes everything from being a funeral officiator to farming watermelons and driving a truck, he has a rich well from which to pull his reports from the streets of life. The 18 cuts delve deep into the travails of driving a big rig," Blue Freightliner", "Truck Driving Songs", "Scalemaster Blues"," 61 Highway Blues" and "300 Miles", the oppression of the cold," Northern Blues", getting out of dodge when problems are nipping at your heels," Frisco Line", picking the place for your last breath, "Let It Be In Memphis" and the fact you come into the world to crowd of family on-lookers but soon find yourself fending for yourself, "Holler #4". With a vocal approach that is half spoken, half sung, he weaves his tales around meaty slices of acoustic slide guitar that pull you into the stories as he drops the volume down to a whisper before roaring back to emphasize a point. With its rapid- fire notes and rich tone, the harmonica powered "Jimmy Bell" reveals Slim to be as adept on the Mississippi Saxophone as on the guitar. With each song a carefully constructed tale, these are blues meant for a listening room, not as the soundtrack for a raucous party. SMITTY

review by Mark

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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