Watermelon Slim; By Bob Moore
By Bob Moore
Let me start with a bit about me. For a while I thought I was Peter Pan. That’s right, my eternal child reflected in my irrational belief that I could make a living in the music business. After forty five years of bands and shows and all that goes with this fantasy, I realized I was a lost boy, or more likely a pirate, caught in the down draft of never land. I was always at war with that new kid in town (pan), always competing for the gigs and the girls and the glory . No matter how well I kicked out the jams he was always there younger and cuter, with that dust from his fairy allies. I needed a plan to get me back on top of the heap, a new sound with a perfect hook, to snatch the crown back from that virile adolescent with spiked hair and green tights. After years of attempting to knock of this ever young upstart, cutting heads in pounding battles of the bands, rehearsing my chops in all night sessions with the crew, I came upon an epiphany of the most majestic proportions. I could only succeed if I used the resources of my experience and played my ultimate trump card. I would have to be a devious weasel, which of course was my mothers maiden name. I became a booking agent.
On Watermelon Slim:
The first time I saw Watermelon Slim was at the long dead Strokers Sunday jam session in summer 2002. He looked like he just dropped off the time elevator from a soup line in the depression era, high water pants, white socks, and a beaten up old blazer hanging off his shoulders. He was as natural as the night. His hair had that wind blown look that people pay to get now days. I really expected to see Woodie and Leadbelly lumber in with vintage guitars and ladies in tow.
Slim laid out a few harmonicas, dragged out a dobro with a bic lighter for a bridge, grabbed a slide, and took over. He kicked off a left handed shuffle stomp as blue as deep water. Not an American Idol, or an American Idiot, but an American Icon, he was authentic. I could see the blues ooze from his weathered soul. His chops were hot; his voice rough enough to huff and puff and blow the juke joint down. His songs were honest and relevant in a current way that seemed impossible considering the visual experience. This guy was completely in touch with the present, but he looked so dust bowl. His slide work and vocal were pure but when he hit the low and lonesome harp licks, I was hooked, a fan for life. The crowded room was with me.
Slim was a trucker back then, driving to survive, and holding
the dream of a music career close to the heart. Today he’s a poetic
blues man touring across the states with a perfect band,
The Workers. He’s been to Europe and Canada and all points in
between kickin out the jams and everyone who listens to him is
impressed by his genuine Americana soul.
His CD “ Up Close and Personal “ is equal to any
acoustic collection on the planet. The songs are current and
powerful and the mix pays tribute to Chris Hardwick at Southern
Records. He and Slim have created an audio master piece.
Don’t take my word though, Up Close was nominated for a WC Handy award (the Emmy of blues) as best new artist. Slim performed at the awards ceremony and brought the crowd to it’s feet for an extended ovation. It was the highlight of the live show.
Slim is poping up all over the country on the radio, the internet, in clubs and magazines and he’s even been spotted in truck stops on his way to the top. It’s blues with a message and if you haven’t heard it go out and get it, and don’t worry that it won’t be enough, a new collection is on the way and the best is always yet to come.
The last time I saw Slim was at the Blue Doorheadlining in OKC songwriters showcase with The Workers. He was wearing a traditional black blues suit and his dues were paid up. Guitar man Ike Lamb was the essence of taste and tone and Cliff ///// defined blues