Magic Slim and the Teardrops – Bad Boy

January 01, 1970

(Blind Pig)


This summer marked the 75th birthday of one of
the last and greatest of the Mississippi to Chicago electric blues
guitarists, Morris Holt, beloved by legions of fans by his nickname, Magic
Slim. Bad Boy finds Slim and his
band, the Teardrops, as tight and smoking as ever. And as Slim might shout in
his best Howlin’ Wolf impression: “and you know that’s good.”


Slim is known for his distinctive sound build over the past
several decades of constant touring and dozens of albums. He developed a
distinctive “Dust My Broom” guitar lick that immediate told you who you were
listening to. And standing well over six feet and God knows how many pounds,
Slim dominates the stage in his large black cowboy hat.


His guitar style is slash and burn electrified Chicago blues-the sound
that gave birth to hard rock in the 1960’s. Bad
kicks off with the song by the same name, a cover of another legendary
postwar Chicago
bluesman, Eddie Taylor. Slim also covers other legends on this CD, including J.B.
Lenoir, Albert King, Roy Brown, Denise LaSalle and Lil’Ed Williams. And there
is also a cover of “Champagne and Reefer” by
the greatest Mississippi to Chicago bluesman of them all, McKinley
Morganfield, better known by his nickname, Muddy Waters.  And Slim adds three of his own songs to the


Slim has an encyclopedic knowledge of the blues, something
that adds extra excitement and spontaneity to his live shows since the audience
can never be sure what treat Slim squeeze out of his guitar. And this man is a
living history of the blues. Slim is one of the last who started by fooling
around with bailing wire and brooms to make guitars, anything to relieve the
hell of working in the cotton fields of Mississippi. When he was 11, he became
friends with another Mississippi
guitar player destined to become a legend in the North, Magic Sam. They would
meet again, like millions of other members of the black diaspora, in Chicago. Sam gave the
then lanky Holt his nickname which stuck. The Teardrops would not come together
until 1967 and started by playing the little working class neighborhood blues
bars that dotted the South and West side of the Chicago at that time. But the
world was changing and white longhaired kids were discovering the music. When
the legendary 11 finger slide guitar genius, Hound Dog Taylor, decided to hit
the road, Slim inherited his gig at a legendary club now long gone called Florence’s. It was not
long until Slim was on the road himself and has been there ever since.


Bad Boy is like a
reassuring visit from an old friend who you are always glad to see. This CD
rocks with the greatest of the classic electric Chicago blues. Magic Slim and the Teardrops can
still deliver the goods. On Lenoir’s “How Much More Long” Slim starts the song
by shouting out the blues: “Rocks is my pillow/Cold ground is my bed/ Highway
is my home/But I might as well be dead.” 
Slim does what the blues has always done: take hard times and show us
that we will survive them no matter what they throw at us by living and loving
life. May he keep rolling on for years to come.


Luck Blues” “Champagne
and Reefer” “How Much More Long” “Bad Boy.” -TOM CALLAHAN 


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