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CD Review: Magic Slim & The Teardrops 

Midnight Blues

The Deal: The epitome of classic Chicago blues with muddy roots.

The Good: At 77, Magic Slim is still a hard rocking dynamo. His hard-hitting Chicago blues, honed in his Mississippi delta home, still have the sting he's been known for since the mid-'60s. The concept for this outing was to recruit a band of guest Teardrops (his backing band) recruiting an all-star cast that includes Elvin Bishop, James Cotton, Lonnie Brooks, Little Ed Williams and Otis Clay. They all sound great and it's a rare treat to hear any of them today on record, but Slim doesn't really need much help – he still tears it up on his own. On his composition "Let me Love You," Slim shows off some throbbing Fabulous Thunderbirds-style hardcore blues/rock. Slim covers the Waters' original "You Can't Lose What You Never Had" rendering the vocals like a Muddy blanket, but Cotton rules this cut with some kick your teeth in harp work. On "Cross Eyed Cat," Slim once again replicates Muddy vocals, but his cover is more laid back than the slam-bang original on the magnificent '77 Muddy /Johnny Winter /James Cotton collaboration "Hard Again." Slim's hardcore Chicago blues sound is amplified with the help of Little Ed's stinging slide lead on "Gimme Back My Wig." Slim's strength is putting new fire in these old chestnuts, and these two just tear the walls down.

The Bad: Can't get enough of this great stuff. Need more Slim product ASAP.

The Verdict: This is a strong party record that needs to be played loud, accompanied with your beverage of choice in your hand or inside you.

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