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Album Review

Watermelon Slim has a fresh contemporary vision of country blues, a personal one that still allows listeners to feel right at home, and while he hasn't varied his approach too much over the course of his past couple of albums (No Paid Holidays is his third release for Northern Blues), what he does fits and works so well that that's undoubtedly a good thing. Here he hits his usual touchstones, pounding out a couple of full-tilt blues-rockers, shining on slide guitar, stripping things down on occasion for one of his unique "hollers." There aren't really any surprises, but again, that's fine. Well, actually, hearing Slim's stripped-down harmonica version of Laura Nyro's "And When I Die" is a bit of a surprise, and a delight at that. Also a delight is the slide guitar bonanza of "Bubba's Blues," which features guest slide guitarist Lee Roy Parnell and Slim tearing the rafters down. Slim's sharp narrative sense emerges on "Max the Baseball Clown," which conjures long-ago boyhood summers while the opener, "Blues for Howard," contains the remarkable line "You can't stay neutral on a moving train." The blues is such a conservative genre in so many ways, depending on familiar progressions and purposely clichéd sentiment to convey universal emotions. Watermelon Slim manages to work within that framework and still somehow make it all seem hushed and personal, even intimate. It's not an easy line to walk, but he does it as well as anyone currently on the contemporary blues scene. No Paid Holidays may not cut into any new territory, but it doesn't really have to because what this guy does is wonderfully solid right where it is.

Customer Reviews

Let's put dats_right_fool's review into perspective, shall we?

The above named reviewer gave five stars to Miley Cyrus' latest work, which says a lot about dats_right_fool's youth and musical tastes. I'm *not* going to rip Miley Cyrus — she's a reasonably talented and attractive young woman who's currently riding a huge wave of popularity brought about by the Disney promo machinery. But dats_right_fool is clearly unfamiliar with the blues, and so has no business passing any kind of judgement on something she (c'mon, you *know* a teen-aged girl is behind that pseud, right?) doesn't know anything about. No Paid Holidays is the work of a blues master who's been performing and perfecting his craft for probably three times the years that dats_right_fool's been alive. Slim is in top form here, and The Workers are a crack outfit that consistently delivers the goods.


If you are a true, down & dirty blues fan, Slim & the Workers are for you. Slim is blues to the core and I can't wait to see what is next from him and his Workers.

What do you know: new blues that sounds ... new

Don't know much about this guy -- who he is or where he's from. Fact is, though, his stuff sounds great without, you know, tryin' too hard. Easy, natural, good. Highly recommended.

No Paid Holidays, Watermelon Slim & The Workers
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings