For those readers who might mistakenly believe that More Blues From The South Side features music from the "baddest part of town," i.e., the south side of Chicago; please note that this CD features music and three musicians from South Central Los Angeles. While guitarist Smokey Wilson is probably the best known of the three West Coast performers, South Side Slim (a.k.a., Henry Harris) and Curtis Tillman help to lay down a strong foundation for what they refer to as
the "South Central Sound." Southside Slim is a creative young performer who provides excellent guitar and vocals on More Blues From The South Side, while also taking credit as Producer for the recording. Curtis Tillman is an excellent vocalist and songwriter who has performed with the likes of T-Bone Walker, Bobby Bland and Big Mama Thornton, just to name a few.
On More Blues From The South Side, each of the main performers contributes several songs to the collaboration. Smokey Wilson provides the first four songs, followed by three from South Side Slim and two from Curtis Tillman. The only non-original song is a dirty blues (in fact, REALLY dirty) called "Confucius" with vocals by Curtis Tillman. All of the songs are well put together with great electric guitar by Smokey Wilson and guitar virtuosity by South Side Slim on lead, rhythm and acoustic guitar throughout the CD. The band's sound is completed by a strong supporting cast that includes "Oklahoma" Ollie (bass), Jan Garfinkle (organ), "Taka" Fukuda (drums), Bill Clark (sax), Eddie Harris (sax) and Tetsuya Nakamura (harmonica).
Among the numerous highlights on More Blues From The South Side is the funk heavy opener, "My Woman Is Gone, " featuring Smokey Wilson on top of his game. This is followed by the slow blues, "Talk To Me," revealing Wilson's strong roots in the Mississippi blues and his past work with Big Jack Johnson, Frank Frost and Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes. South Side Slim give his best performance on the delta blues sounding "Country Road," featuring Slim on acoustic guitar and backing from harpman Tetsuya Nakamura. On "Seven Days," Slim plays a fiery guitar that is reminiscent of another "young gun" of the blues guitar, Bernard Allison. Vocalist Curtis Tillman begins to strut his stuff on "Confucius," featuring more hot guitar licksbehind Tillman's deep,
resonating vocals. Curtis really lays it on the line with his original, "Angola Blues," a song about a no good woman and a lonely man trying to deal with his personal blues.
South Side Records was created to promote the recorded work of South Central Los Angeles blues artists. With the release of More Blues From The South Side, the record company offers up three of South Central's best on an excellent recording. If you are interested in finding out more about More Blues From The South Side or other South Side recordings, South Side Records can be contacted at P.O. Box 641668; Los Angeles California 90064 or by e-mail at
This review is copyright © 2000 by Dave "Doc" Piltz, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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