Friday, February 22, 2013

Blues world mourns death of Chicago's own Magic Slim

Magic Slim performs at the 25th Annual Chicago...
Magic Slim performs at the 25th Annual Chicago Blues Fest. Photo by Adam Bielawski - June 8, 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The blues world lost another great one this week.
The musician known as Magic Slim died at a Philadelphia hospital at the age of 75. Born Morris Holt in Torrance, Mississippi in 1937, the guitarist performer, bandleader, and recording artist went on to enjoy a career that launched him to national and international recognition and acclaim.
Slim was one of the foremost practitioners of the raw, gut-bucket, back alley blues associated with the postwar Chicago blues sound. He and his band, the Teardrops, were known as "the last real Chicago blues band" for their authentic, no-frills, straight-no-chaser performance of the music.
In 1955, like many musicians from the Deep South, Slim migrated to Chicago, where he was mentored by his friend Magic Sam, who gave the lanky Morris his lifelong stage moniker. Initially discouraged by the highly competitive local music scene, Slim went back to Mississippi and spent the next five years woodshedding and perfecting his craft.
He confidently returned to Chicago and became a formidable player on the scene, eventually putting together the Teardrops, who would become one of the busiest and best-loved blues bands around, and one of the most sought-after headliners for festivals in Europe, Japan, and South America.

Slim and his group won the coveted Blues Music Award in 2003 as "Blues Band of the Year," one of six times Slim won a BMA, considered the highest honor in the blues.
"Magic Slim embodied the heart and soul of this label," Blind Pig Records owner Jerry Del Giudice said. "It was Magic Slim, and the guys like him, and their music, that inspired us to start the label in the first place."
Information courtesy of Blind Pig Records.
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