That Ain't Right

That Ain't Right

by Magic SlimMagic Slim


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Producer Ralph Bass intended to issue some ten blues albums for T.K. Records based in Miami, but the label wound up having disco hits with KC & the Sunshine Band and scrapped his projects. Three decades after the fact, some of those recordings done in Chicago, through a circuitous route of failed labels, have finally surfaced on Delmark Records, including what would have been the debut sessions for Magic Slim & the Teardrops. Morris Holt, aka Slim, was hot on the Chicago scene but few suspected he'd become a major superstar, and although these 1977 dates are imperfect due to distortion on the masters, the raw edge of his music comes shining through. In addition, the Elmore James-influenced guitarist and vocalist Joe Carter appears here on an additional six tracks, while Carter's all-star band with legends like pianist Sunnyland Slim, drummer Fred Below, guitarist Lacy Gibson, and bassist Willie Black does another song sans its leader. Slim's family band with bassist Nick Holt and drummer Doug Holt join second guitarist Coleman Pettis for some riveting, primal electric Chicago blues in the Elmore James tradition, set apart because of the leader's expansive, mean streets, but somewhat reined-in sound. Six sides by Slim and the band include the steady-rollin' "In the Dark" (not the Lil Green classic), which bears the rough and dry lyric "that ain't right" that is the title of this CD. Slim's sonorous stinging guitar is all too evident on this, the slow and sleek original "She Is Mine," the autobiographical "Cummins Prison Farm," the instrumental jam "Soul Blues," and the slow pining "Just to Be with You," with the vocal reminiscent of peer Lonnie Brooks. There's an electric crackle that suggests the tapings were amped up too high, but this is not a major flaw. The single track with Below leading and singing "Route 66" shuffles along, with Gibson and Sunnyland Slim swinging along quite nicely. Carter is an Elmore James devotee both in his singing and guitar playing, but with less of an edge or gruffness. He does the James evergreen "I'm Worried" like he means it, along with a loose churning shuffle on "Sweet Home Chicago" and quite respectable "Stormy Monday" with slide guitar inserts. On a saloon-style tinny upright piano, Sunnyland Slim is the real star, stepping up on the jazzy "Joe's Boogie" and another James instrumental jam, "Bobby's Rock." Carter's singing on "Anna Lee" is slowed, refined, and soulful like Elmore James but more rounded and subtle, less obvious. A collector's item, a slice of history, and an important link between the past and contemporary urban electric blues, most everything is right about this collection that many blues fans should celebrate.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/20/2006
Label: Delmark
UPC: 0038153078621
catalogNumber: 786
Rank: 76675

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Magic Slim   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Joe Carter   Guitar,Vocals
Fred Below   Drums,Vocals
Lacy Gibson   Guitar
Douglas Holt   Drums
Nick Holt   Bass
Coleman "Daddy Rabbit" Pettis   Guitar
Sunnyland Slim   Piano
Willie Black   Bass

Technical Credits

Bobby Troup   Composer
Ralph Bass   Producer
Morris Magic Slim Holt   Composer
Elmore James   Composer
Robert G. Koester   Producer
Jim O'Neal   Liner Notes
Aaron Walker   Composer
Rein Wisse   Cover Photo
Robert McCullum   Composer
Bernard Roth   Composer
William Cole   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Steve Wagner   Producer,Remixing

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