Watermelon Slim: Up Close & Personal (Southern/Yellow Eye)

 |   |  <1 min read

Watermelon Slim: The Last Blues
Watermelon Slim: Up Close & Personal (Southern/Yellow Eye)

Not only does white bluesman Watermelon Slim sound like the blackest 1940s blues player that ever was, but he's also has had an extraordinary life. Believable if you read it in a novel, but all true.

Check out his backstory in this archival interview at Elsewhere and also have a look here for his music, then close your eyes as he transports to to Southern juke-joints or -- as on this 2004 album being made available again on the eve of a New Zealand tour -- to the backroads of the 40s via poker games, highway songs, metaphors of life and death, and betrayal.

He covers Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and Mississippi Fred McDowell, but his own songs sound like they have been transported in from that era too.

The opener Truck Holler #1 is exactly the that, a field holler from the front seat of a big rig, but it is in pieces like Cynical Old Bastard ("they tell me everything's gonna be alright, but they never tell where or when") that his authentic voice from a life of hard living comes through.

He's a journalism and history graduate with a masters in history.

He's mastered some kind of history, that's fer sure.

Dates on Watermelon Slim's extensive New Zealand tour which has just srarted can be found here.

Share It

Your Comments

buck nelson - Apr 22, 2013

come early stay late-Slim and the Workers make your butt shake-knows what he's sing sings what he knows, if ya listen good your knowledge will grow

post a comment

More from this section   Blues articles index

Bo Diddley (Dec 30, 1928 - June 2, 2008)

Bo Diddley (Dec 30, 1928 - June 2, 2008)

Tributes will come fast for this legend of rock'n'roll and all will -- or at least they should -- note that for the past four decades the man barely sold an album despite his position as a... > Read more

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Delta Blues, Reborn and Remastered (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Delta Blues, Reborn and Remastered (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Tommy Johnson is one of the more interesting figures in the shadowland of the Delta blues of the Twenties: he recorded fewer songs than the acclaimed Robert Johnson who was no relation (just 16... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Thin Lizzy; The Very Best of Thin Lizzy

THE BARGAIN BUY: Thin Lizzy; The Very Best of Thin Lizzy

It's always interesting having tradespeople around your area. A couple of years ago a bunch of Fijian Indian tilers moved in to do some work on neighbouring properties and all day I rejoiced in... > Read more

LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI INTERVIEWED (2000): The angry old man

LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI INTERVIEWED (2000): The angry old man

Lawrence Ferlinghetti sounds in feisty spirit. Indeed, my call to his famous City Lights bookshop in San Francisco finds the 81-year-old deeply irritated, if not to say downright angry.It's all... > Read more