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Texas Slim - That's Who I Am (2014)
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Texas Slim - That's Who I Am (2014)

28-12-2014, 21:27
Music | Blues | Rock

Texas Slim - That's Who I Am (2014)

Artist: Texas Slim
Title Of Album: That's Who I Am
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Feelin' Good Records
Genre: Blues, Texas Blues, Blues-Rock
Format: Mp3
Quality: 320 kbps
Total Time: 64:46 Min
Total Size: 200 Mb (covers)


01. Sweet Tooth Blues (4:02)
02. Love Somebody (3:40)
03. Built to Last (4:24)
04. That’s Who I Am (3:55)
05. Wailing the Blues (3:25)
06. Rock Hauler (3:25)
07. Stop Doggin Me Baby (3:13)
08. Everytime I Go to Houston (5:02)
09. Coyote Moon Blues (5:17)
10. Have Coffee With Me (3:10)
11. Lazy Girl (2:57)
12. Trouble Knockin (3:47)
13. Jelly Roll King (3:39)
14. Attack of the Mosquitos (3:43)
15. Too Wild to Tame (6:37)
16. Lightning Boogie (4:21)

Texas is a big state and Texas blues is big blues - so a name like "Texas Slim" is not to be used lightly. John Lee Hooker got away with it on King Records back in 1949 as he was a long way from Texas and probably had little to do with it. Many years ago, Johnny Winter settled instead for "Texas Guitar Slim" - but both are relevant for our man here, as the first blues he recalls hearing was by John Lee Hooker, and as for Johnny Winter, well, let's hear from Slim himself: “Johnny Winter is certainly my favorite guitarist of all time! I liked him before I realized he WAS blues. Even his most rock ‘n’ roll albums have blues tracks on them. Johnny Winter’s singing has been a big influence on me. In 1989, I played a gig with Uncle John Turner, Johnny’s original drummer. He told me that my singing was similar to Johnny’s and it really inspired me. I think Johnny’s guitar influence on me is very strong, especially when I play as a three piece. The way he swings and slings his notes in, on, and around the beat creates mind-boggling energy! Don’t forget his incredible slide playing or his 1920s style acoustic resonator guitar! Yes – he’s my favorite!”
A blues moniker like Texas Slim also requires that its bearer should be a Texan (Hooker aside!), and indeed, this Texas Slim certainly is - and very proud of it! He was born Robert Sullivan in Dallas on 26th July 1963 - Baylor Hospital to be precise! He enjoys all kinds of Texas blues, not just the guitar slingers – try the slide guitar driven ‘Trouble Knockin’’, and ‘Lightning Boogie’, whilst still supercharged, is a fine number in Lightning Hopkins’ style. Slim credits Hopkins as being the bluesman whose music really started him in the blues. Texas blues often needs, no, demands a swagger to it too – Freddie King, who took on Chicago’s West side guitarists at their own game and on their own turf, is a good example. I mentioned to Slim that ‘Rock Hauler’ reminds me of Freddie: “Thanks! That is pretty much what I was going for. The instrumentals of Freddie King and Albert Collins are a big part of our Texas guitar heritage and that is a tradition I want to keep going strong.” Another excellent instrumental is ‘Attack Of The Mosquitoes’, which he describes as “early 60s style rock blues guitar with nods to Albert Collins and Lonnie Mack. The staccato guitar and screeching noises represent the sounds of mosquitoes attacking.”
By now you are hopefully beginning to get an idea of the sound of this album: “This record is straight-ahead blues, sparse production with a focus on high energy. Eight of the songs have no overdubs at all so we are trying to achieve the energy of a live show, which is very difficult to do in-studio. Kenny Stern has been my drummer for 31 years, the same number of years I have gone by the name Texas Slim. It seems that he can almost read my mind. Bill Cornish has been my bass player for 20 years (since 1993) and also seems to be telepathic musically with me as well. Both Bill and Kenny have a genuine respect for the blues and are extremely versatile with all styles of blues. Brian “Hash Brown” Calway has been one of my dearest friends since he moved to Dallas in 1983. His appearance on this record is just one of the thousands of great blues moments he and I have shared over the last 30 years. His harmonica playing is stellar and he is equally as good on guitar.”
Slim himself is singing better than ever these days and I wondered which are his favourite songs on the album. Not an easy task, but after some thought the reply comes: “I like ‘Built to Last’ and ‘That’s Who I Am’ - composition wise I think they are the best songs I have written in quite a while. I also like the mood we achieved on ‘Coyote Moon Blues’. Overall, I am very happy with all the tracks.”
Slim’s previous album, Lucky Mojo, appeared in 2011 and I wondered how he feels he has progressed since then: “I am always working towards developing my skills as both singer and guitarist. I hope they continue to get better with every record. It is very difficult to chart one’s own progress - all I know is I practice a lot and keep trying to learn more everyday just like when I was 14 years old.” – which admittedly is not a bad outlook to have!
So whilst Mr. Sullivan might have justified the “Texas” part of his stage name, there’s also the “Slim” part – a Slim should be, well, slim. Check out the photos or maybe YouTube, for proof. Or better still, catch the man himself in person when he comes in – or near to - your town. Chances are you won’t have to wait too long, as he notes that “since the release of Lucky Mojo I have done three tours in Europe. I have also enjoyed substantial air-play here in the US and overseas. I have been trying to develop my fan base in Europe while still playing about 200 gigs a year here in the US.” Until then though, there is always this album: “I thoroughly enjoyed making this record and I am very proud of it! Thanks to my friend Bailey for the 1973 Gibson Les Paul Custom “Black Beauty” the only guitar on this record! I truly hope my fans enjoy this record as much as I do! Keep digging the blues!!!” Thanks then to Texas Slim, Texas bluesman – that’s who he is…
Norman Darwen

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