Watermelon Slim – Ringers

January 01, 1970

(Northern Blues)




Somewhere in the hinterlands of our more
provincially-populated cities (San Diego’s profile until about 10 years ago,
for instance), or planted in what used to be called the country, are there bars
filled with lovers of both Country and Blues licks? If so, “Look what our boy’s
done now!” may be ricocheting the walls of suchlike. And kudos are always
likely from those warmed by Slim’s ‘Nam vet success. Heck, Bill Homans’,
a.k.a. Slim’s, mud ‘n’ ‘pone bio could make any patriot, or just lovers of all
things grassroots, want to cheer his every move. However, at first it’s a
challenge to “get right” with Homans’ morph to Country, which could spell at
least a temporary loss of a born Blues-weaver.   


Anyone who hasn’t heard Slim’s well-tempered
Blues playing and emoting would think he was born to spout Country. Turns out his
idea of the latter is pedal-steel guitar, mandolin, and banjo painting a colorful
mix that’s light years behind, above, or beyond  contemporary, whatever-it-takes-to-hit-big Country.
Matter of fact, some of this stuff could be kin to work by Kris Kristofferson.


From the jauntily-proffered nostalgia of “Good Old Boys
Never Change,” some serious shit-kickin’s goin’ down. With some editing (axing
the relatively tedious “”He Went To Paris” and “Tight-Fittin’ Jeans,” along
with a couple more textbook C&W snore-inducers), this could have been a five-star
crossover. Before “Letter to Stoney” spreads the last slurp of gravy over the
toast, Slim’s given nearly equal time to a good one as to its denouement;
closing-time contemplation. Delivery includes laidback Blues (“I Appreciate
That”), Country that would rather be Blues, and Country with a jangly,
spur-jinglin’ strut.


Yup, it’s time to start tracking
the whereabouts of Slim’s tour bus. Who’d want to miss  the party-in-a-song of “No Way to Reach
Nirvana”? With female gospel back-ups over an upbeat escalation, it’s not too
far from some of the Stones’ Country Blues/Gospel  romps.


Old Boys Never Change,” “Truck Drivin’ Buddy,” “No Way to Reach Nirvana,” “Letter to


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