Magic Slim & the Teardrops proudly uphold the tradition of what a Chicago blues band should sound like. Their emphasis on ensemble playing and a humongous repertoire that allegedly ranges upwards of a few hundred songs give the towering guitarist's live performances an endearing off-the-cuff quality: you never know what obscurity he'll pull out of his oversized hat next. Born Morris Holt on August 7, 1937, the Mississippi native was forced to give up playing the piano when he lost his little finger in a cotton gin mishap. Boyhood pal Magic Sam bestowed his magical moniker on the budding guitarist (and times change as Slim's no longer slim). Holt first came to Chicago in 1955, but found that breaking into the competitive local blues circuit was a tough proposition. Although he managed to secure a steady gig for a while with Robert Perkins' band (Mr. Pitiful & the Teardrops), Slim wasn't good enough to progress into the upper ranks of Chicago bluesdom.
Magic Slim & the Teardrops proudly uphold the tradition of what a Chicago blues band should sound like. Their emphasis on ensemble playing and a humongous repertoire that allegedly ranges upwards of a few hundred songs give the towering guitarist's live performances an endearing off-the-cuff quality…
Magic Slim is simply the greatest living proponent of the intense, electrified, Mississippi-to-Chicago blues style that spawned much of the music played by modern blues artists and rockers. Featuring Slim’s trademark slash and burn guitar and booming vocals, this definitive, budget-priced collection includes some of the finest moments in his eighteen year relationship with Blind Pig. This is no-frills, unapologetic, straight-no-chaser blues for the ages from a true national treasure. A “must-have” CD for any serious blues fan!
If any single thing could be said about Magic Slim & The Teardrops, the watchword that prevails is consistency. Over eight CDs on the German Wolf label and the same total for Blind Pig Records – compilations notwithstanding – this group not only delivers time and time again with their electric contemporary urban blues, but continually reminds us of the forefathers that preceded them in making Chicago a focal point for this music. From classics by Elmore James, Roosevelt Sykes, Robert Nighthawk, J.B. Hutto, Clay Hammond, and Little Milton, Slim and the band put their foot to the wood and never let up on the gas, steaming through these classic blues songs with a rock & roll attitude. Three originals by Slim also reflect the same no-nonsense posture, but add updated, doubting Thomas inquiries, as on the shuffle rocker "Do You Mean It?," "Shame," and the sly Chi-Town blues of "Treat Me the Way You Do." While the smart, well-chosen material is the key to their success, it's how they play with utter confidence, energy, passion, and drive that sets this band apart from all others.
Magic Slim (Morris Holt) is best known for carrying on the Windy City tradition of back-to-the-basics blues bar bands, blasting out a quintessential sound that the music's legends would appreciate and that its newest fans can still enjoy. With Blue Magic, Holt and the Teardrops take a few steps outside their home turf for a New York City session with several surprises. Although most of the material is Holt's, the new album features several conspicuous exceptions, such as an intriguing attempt at country legend Merle Haggard's "I Started Loving You Again." But it's producer Popa Chubby's updating of the Bobby Rush gem "Chickenheads," popularized by Holt's fellow Chicago stalwart Mighty Joe Young, that is the most adventurous experiment. With the band sitting out, Popa Chubby takes over all the rhythm duties and adds sampled loops to the mix…
The young Tore seeks in Hamburg a new life among the religious group called The Jesus Freaks.
As his last recording, Magic Slim gives us a live performance from the Wolf label in Europe. There are some fine tracks on this cd and as a parting momento from a master, this is a fine cd all around….