Little is known about the life of itinerant delta bluesman Harlem Slim. What we do know, though, is that he was born in the New York area in the early 1950's, and that he began playing 1930s delta blues and ragtime blues at a very early age.
He plays in the styles of Robert Johnson, Johnny Shines, Blind Willie McTell (William Samuel McTell), Blind Boy Fuller (Fulton Allen) and Blind Blake (Arthur Phelps). He is known to have associated with Louisiana Red (Iverson Minter), Memphis Slim (John Len "Peter" Chatman), Billy Gibbons, Bob Brozman, Eric Johnson and Dave Davies. Currently out of retirement after 25 years, his vocals and slide guitar work are stronger than ever.
On this 14-track 42+ minute CD, Harlem Slim plays and sings delta blues and ragtime blues solo, acoustic fingerstyle (both bottleneck slide and fretted) in the traditional style on a variety of original 1920s and 1930s vintage instruments.
Harlem Slim, P.O. Box 541041, Houston, Texas, 77254
This review is copyright © 2000 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.