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Texas Slim - Cookin' With Gas Live (2011)

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Texas Slim - Cookin' With Gas Live (2011)

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01. Welcome To The Game.
02. See See Baby.
03. Driving Blues.
04. Coffee Shop Girl.
05. High Alert.
06. Mellow Together.			play
07. When It’s Cold Outside.
08. Funky Love.
09. Expresso Girl.
10. Boot Hill.
11. Drama Queen.
12. I’m Good.		play

Texas Slim - Guitar, Lead Vocals.
Joey Love - Guitar - Vocals.
Bill Cornish - Bass, Vocals.
Jimmy Morgan - Drums.


Digipack.Over the last couple of decades or so, Texas has come to be recognised as the blues guitar centre it has been since early in the last century. Texas Slim fits right in with the tradition, and in fact he has links right back to the music's early days. He told me, "My biggest influences on the styles I play are Johnny Winter, Freddie King, Lightnin' Hopkins, T-Bone Walker, and Little Joe Blue. But I am influenced by all types and eras of blues. Pianist Alex Moore (Paramount Records 1929) is my biggest blues influence and gave me my name - Texas Slim - back in 1982!"It is still important for blues musicians to have paid their dues, and Slim has been an active performer around the local clubs in the Dallas - Fort Worth area too. That mention of Little Joe Blue prompted me to check out the opinion of my friend, guitarist Andrew "Junior Boy" Jones, who told me: "I know Slim very well. He is a very fine entertainer and guitarist.

I can't remember how we met exactly, but I remember after I left Charlie Musselwhite in 1995, he was one of the first to play my guitar that Gibson gave me. He came to one of my gigs and I let him sit in. He is a very good player." Andrew has never let me down yet, and as even the briefest of listens to these tracks confirms, he hasn't here!Even if Slim can't quite put his finger on just what makes Texas so special blues guitar wise ("I don't know honestly, but I am truly proud and honored to help carry on this tradition. It motivates me to play and sing my very best!"), which puts him in some very fine company - Albert Collins, U.P. Wilson, and Jesse "Guitar" Taylor were likewise stumped - he certainly knows what it is all about. Take a listen to how Slim tackles Freddy King's 'See See Baby' - fine, almost relaxed vocals and plenty of fiery guitar, and then it leads into the shuffling title track of Slim's 2009 album, with a typical blues theme and some even rawer playing, rocking into the powerhouse 'Coffee Shop Girl' (Slim does seem to have a thing for a decent cup of coffee - there's an 'Espresso Girl' here too) before slowing things down for "blues time, people" with the high intensity 'High Alert', like the opener, an example of just how skilled Slim is at weaving contemporary references into his material.

Then there is the classic 'Boot Hill' - "Yes, this is an archetypal 'Texas' style blues. I chose this song to perform live in Europe because of its raw power and emotion. Also, I am honored to pay tribute to a true Texas legend - Johnny Winter! I am proud to be a part of the Texas blues tradition!" But I don't want to spoil your enjoyment in discovering this music for yourself... Suffice to say, Slim puts a lot of thought into his show: "I write a set list of the songs I want to perform, making sure I have mostly my own songs with a handful of covers. Then I try to put them in a nicely flowing order - bring it to a full boil a couple of times with a dessert treat at the end.

That is how we 'cook with gas'!"And yes, Slim is cooking here! He was inspired by the setting and audience: "I think European audiences listen more carefully to the music to appreciate it and respect it as a work of art. It is always an honor take your art to another country and be so well received. You feel like a big star when the people cheer for you at the concerts - it makes you play better!" The proof of that last statement can clearly be heard on this CD. And incidentally, with all this focus on Slim's considerable guitar prowess, please don't make the mistake of under-estimating the quality of his vocals ("My goal is to sound pleasant yet powerfully emotional in my own way!") or his excellent song-writing - Slim is indeed an all-round blues master. To close, I can do no better than repeat Texas Slim's closing words to me - "To all fans of the Blues: ENJOY!" With a performance of this quality, that is not difficult, not difficult at all...Norman Darwen, cduniverse.com

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