95

Magic Slim and the Teardrops: Black Tornado

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Magic Slim and the Teardrops: Black Tornado Critics tend to overemphasize regional differences in blues styles, but I'll concede that Chicago blues can be particularly loose and low-down. Chicago blues is really Delta blues electrified, and Mississippi-born Magic Slim may be the genre's finest living purveyor.

You won't find a more authentic blues man than 61-year-old Magic Slim, whose given name is Morris Holt. A high-voltage guitarist and soulful singer, Slim honed his skills in his native Mississippi and then became a fixture in the Chicago blues scene after moving to the Windy City more than 30 years ago.

Black Tornado is loud, agreeably raucous, and extremely hard-rocking. Always a great cover band, Slim and the Teardrops play seven originals on this one, including four by the leader. The new tunes stand up very well next to great-sounding covers of "Still a Fool" (Muddy Waters), "It's Alright" (Houndog Taylor) and "Bad Intentions" (Joe Scott).

Slim may not be the flashiest guitarist around, but his tremulous solos and crunching chords are refreshingly raw. Plus, his rough-hewn vocal delivery is downright captivating. I absolutely love it when he growls a la Howlin' Wolf, and it doesn't hurt that the Teardrops form one of the tightest blues ensembles on the planet. The band consists of Slim's brother Nick Holt on bass and background vocals, Michael Dotson on guitar, and Allen Kirk on drums. Slim's son Shawn Holt also plays guitar on "Young Man's Blues."

Everything works on this one, but the best tracks are the slow and smoldering "Still A Fool," the country-influenced instrumental "Black Tornado" the fast and furious "Magic Boogie," and the classic-sounding "I Can't Trust My Woman."

Black Tornado has the unvarnished intensity of a superlative Chicago blues recording. It's simply the most electrifying blues release I've heard so far this year.


Title: Black Tornado | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Blind Pig Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Happy All the Time" CD/LP/Track Review Happy All the Time
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "Comes Love - A Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald And Joe Pass" CD/LP/Track Review Comes Love - A Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald And Joe Pass
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "The Crave" CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "The Complete Syllables Music" CD/LP/Track Review The Complete Syllables Music
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 1, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.