Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Album Review: Alabama Slim - The Parlor

Alabama Slim
The Parlor
*** out of *****

Sometimes music takes extra effort with words meticulously parsed, notes played hundreds of times until they are just right...and sometimes you can lay down a damn good blues album in just over four hours.  Such is the case with Alabama Slim's newest offering The Parlor

Slim entered the New Orleans studio and with the help of with his longtime friend Little Freddy King, and together with the help of, Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers) on piano/organ, Matt Patton (Drive-By Truckers) on bass, and Artie Dean drums/producing, out strolled this simple, direct, fantastic sounding blues offering. 

Opening with the lighting and thunder of "Hot Foot" the players ease into things, but a quick uptick follows as King takes over lead vocals for the Texas shuffle of "Freddie's Voodoo Magic". Slim himself feels more at ease with the slower smoldering numbers like "Rob Me Without A Gun" and "All Night Long" but the players around him can push the tempo up with ease.

Slim and company also put their own spin on a few classic blues tunes. "Rock with me Momma" is a unique twist on John Lee Hooker's "I Got My Eyes On You", "Someday Baby" is a solid effort and Patton's bass leads the groove wonderfully on "Rock Me Baby".

While all of these tracks lead to a timeless feeling of the album, one song destroys that illusion, placing The Parlor directly in 2021, "Forty Jive". The almost spoken word take cuts down the former President as the upbeat organ lead shuffle keeps things lively. The record ends on slower sturdy footing for Slim as he wraps up with "Down on the Bottom", and that is where Slim excels with his gritty blues.

Randomly Neil did an interview with Alabama Slim over at Glide. 
Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video:

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