Bad Boy

Like a lot of Mississippi bluesmen, Magic Slim moved to Chicago where, as a teenager, he got a gig playing bass with the iconic Magic Sam (who gave the young Morris Holt his nom de guitar). Ten years later Slim got his own band together and has since released nearly a score of albums on a handful of labels, primarily Chicago’s Blind Pig Records and Austria’s Wolf Records. Slim is a large man with a voice to match and his no-nonsense approach to the blues has made him—at 74—one of the genre’s elder and still-vital statesmen. He and his quartet work their way through a catalog of classics, among them Roy Brown’s “Hard Luck Blues” (“Rocks is my pillow, cold ground is my bed”) and Albert King’s “Matchbox Blues” (“I dreamed I got lucky and I woke up cold in hand”). Other items include Muddy Waters’ relaxed “Champagne and Reefer” (helluva combo!); Detroit Jr.’s exuberant job kiss-off “I Got Money” (“I got money, I ain’t goin’ to work today”); with Denise LaSalle’s slinky “Someone Else Is Steppin’ In” tossed in for variety. Slim’s got a few originals, and “Sunrise Blues,” his saga of lost love, finds him missing his baby at sunrise. Another welcome addition to the Magic Slim catalog.