DVD - MAGIC SLIM & THE TEARDROPS
Anything Can Happen
Recorded Live at Sierra Nevada Brewery,2005
Legendary Chicago bluesman Magic Slim has been around for quite a while now, but as this concert DVD proves, he's still going strong. With a swampy, smoky set of guitars and a relentlessly uptempo blues beat, he and his backing band, the Teardrops, are capable of tearing the roof off nearly any venue. It's impossible to listen to him without quickly finding yourself moving along with the beat, mesmerized by the smooth flow of the guitar picking in contrast to his gravelly bass voice.
This concert, apparently shot in 2005, is filmed in the "Big Room" of the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, California. It's a little difficult to get a read on the crowd since the same small group of people dancing is shown repeatedly. I would hope that that wasn't all there was to see the group do their stuff, but at least you can bring it into your home theater. Even if it's not much of a crowd, the band is clearly giving their all, with Magic Slim injecting his trademark humor and rough-hewn delivery throughout.
The songs are mostly originals, with a few covers mixed in. The clear gem of the set is a rollicking Goin' to Mississippi with a great back-and-forth between the guitars in what feels like a freeform jam. That, combined with Magic Slim's joyful rendition of the amusing lyrics, makes it highly memorable.Shake It, his revision of Elmore James' Shake Your Moneymaker smokes with sensuousness, a pure piece of liquid funkiness that mesmerizes. The blues are often tinged with bitterness, and it's there in spades in the self-explanatoryYou Got to Pay. If you're looking for a slower song, Please Don't Dog Me is a raunchy but heartfelt interpretation of a more traditional blues tempo.
It's been nearly 25 years now since I first trudged through a snowstorm to see Magic Slim, and I've seldom missed an opportunity to see him since. The energy of the band grabs you and doesn't let go for an instant. Any fan of the blues will definitely want to own this disc.
I'm a Bluesman
The Man You Need
Goin' to Mississippi
Please Don't Dog Me
Mind Your Own Business
I Ain't Looking for No Love
You Got to Pay
I Need Lovin'
I Don't Believe You Baby
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