Escape from the Chicken Coop

Escape from the Chicken Coop

by Watermelon Slim


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Escape from the Chicken Coop is a departure of sorts for Watermelon Slim (Bill Homans), with Slim working with musicians outside of his band, the Workers, and taking a more country direction, although that doesn't mean he's become a hat act and is spewing clever clichés over slick production with an eye on Nashville. An album of truck driving songs (it's dedicated to Dave Dudley, whose version of "Six Days on the Road" is the truck driving anthem of all time), Escape from the Chicken Coop isn't really all that different than Slim's previous albums, and while the blues elements may be muted a bit here, this set isn't a radical departure in form. Maybe that's because, at the root, the difference between blues and country is really a matter of approach -- the themes in both genres have always been basically the same. And Slim knows a thing or two about truck driving. He supported his family for years driving trucks -- as a card-carrying MENSA member, he had to be one of the smartest drivers out there on the road -- and he would write and sing songs to himself to pass the time on long hauls. So the songs collected here aren't some fancy imagined facsimiles of the truck driving musical genre, they're the real deal. That said, these sides still have that wonderfully loose, ragged, and wry blues feel that Slim has always done so well, and Escape from the Chicken Coop fits right in with his previous recorded work -- it isn't a departure so much as a refinement. Among the highlights here are the gorgeous "Should I Have Done More," the traditional-sounding "300 Miles," and a striking re-imagining of Roy Acuff's classic "Wreck on the Highway." Slim's many fans won't be disappointed by this release. It's still a blues album, really, at least the way Slim marks out the territory. It's also affirming, joyous, and appropriately somber by turns, giving a fresh new meaning to the term "country blues."

Product Details

Release Date: 08/04/2009
Label: Northern Blues
UPC: 0809509005420
catalogNumber: 54
Rank: 103981

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Watermelon Slim   Primary Artist
Verlon Thompson   Vocal Harmony
Charlie Chadwick   Upright Bass
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Paul Franklin   Steel Guitar
Kenny Greenberg   Electric Guitar
Kenny Malone   Drums
Kevin McKendree   Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer,Piano (Grand)
Gary Nicholson   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Guitar (Resonator)
Darrell Scott   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin
Miles Wilkinson   Vocal Harmony
Lynn Williams   Drums
Rob McNeely   Electric Guitar
Steven Mackey   Electric Bass
Suzi Ragsdale   Vocal Harmony

Technical Credits

Sonny Throckmorton   Composer
Miles Wilkinson   Producer,Engineer
Michael Wrycraft   Art Direction
Matt Andrews   Engineer
Chris Hardwick   Management
Gordon Hammond   Engineer
Fred Litun   Liner Notes

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