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Wolf (120820)

Rough Dried Woman, Matchbox Blues, Tell Me What Make A Woman Treat A Man So Bad, Spider In My Shoe, I'm Good, Bad Avenue, Mama Talk To Your Daughter, Ain't It Nice? Before You Accuse Me, You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had, Bad Boy, Blues At Sunrise, Stranded On The Highway, Hard Luck Blues.

Magic Slim and The Teardrops came into existence in 1965 when Slim and his brothers arrived in Chicago with a sound that stopped West Side club patrons in their tracks. Their rough, assertive guitar groove and Slim's throaty roar propelled the band to the pinnacle of the Chicago blues scene filling dance floors every night. They came with the same wild exuberant energy as Hound Dog Taylor's bands so no one was surprised when The Teardrops inherited Taylor's Sunday jam session specials at Florence's Club.

When it came to making records, Magic Slim and The Teardrops cranked out the blues live in the studio with all the good humour and rowdiness that epitomised their club dates and apart from a couple of early self-conscious try-outs, they produced some pretty good albums over the years for Rooster, Evidence and Blind Pig but the most commercial success was on Austria's Wolf label which issued five live CDs made at Nebraska's Zoo Bar and eight studio albums - three of which deservedly won Handy blues awards.

Subtitled ‘Magic Slim's Best 14 Songs', this CD is made up of eleven tracks previously released between 1986 and 1992 on various Wolf CDs plus three unissued live cuts made on an early nineties European tour. If you don't own any Magic Slim stuff, this is a great place to start and if you're a hardened fan, it's a perfect selection from a wealth of treasures that demonstrates exactly how real tough Chicago blues should be played.

You get stomping recreations of tremendous tunes written by Eddie Taylor, Roy Brown, Lefty Dizz and Bo Diddley plus of course, Slim's heroes Muddy Waters, Albert King and Magic Sam. Then there's his own thundering pile driver Tell Me What Make A Woman Treat A Good Man So Bad with it's powerhouse vocals and scintillating guitar work that stands up extremely well besides clanging crowd pleasers like Lefty Dizz's masterpiece Bad Avenue. Slim uses the good ol' Elmore lick in his bouncing version of Bo Diddley's Before You Accuse Me and his hefty rendition of Eddie Taylor's Bad Boy is shot through with tons of perky guitar. From the start you can tell he's itching to let loose with a seismic solo and it comes straight after the first verse and again after the chorus where he simply sizzles with a one note opening outburst.

The three live cuts are rough, raw and rampant with the band treating the ecstatic audience to an adrenaline filled version of Albert King's Blues At Sunrise, a thrashing Hard Luck Blues and a truly pulverizing Stranded On The Highway which is five and a half minutes of sheer awesome blues power.

It's a no brainer - you've got to get this one!


Review Date: November 2009

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