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CD REVIEW -- Shawn Holt & The Teardrops

SHAWN HOLT & THE TEARDROPS

(with special guest JOHN PRIMER)

Daddy Told Me

Blind Pig Records

Shawn Holt & The Teardrops CD

 

By Pierre Lacocque

1. Fannie Mae, 4:18; 2. Daddy told me, 3:27; 3. Hold you again, 5:11; 4. Down in Virginia, 3:22; 5. Buddy Buddy friend, 4:20; 6. Get Your Business Straight, 3:15; 7. Mean little Woman, 3:49; 8. Before You Accuse Me, 4:00; 9. Love Got Me Walkin’, 4:13;  10. Little By Little, 3:15; 11. Please Don’t Dog Me, 5:19; 12. You Done Me Wrong, 4:11

Total Time: 48:66

 

Recorded by Blaise Barton and Brian Leach at Joyride Studios, Chicago, IL. Mixed and mastered by Blaise Barton. Special guest: John Primer (Track #5, “Buddy Buddy Friend”; and track # 8, “Before You Accuse Me”). Produced by Michael Blakemore and Jerry Del Giudice.

 

The Legacy Continues

 

With this debut CD on Blind Pig, Shawn “Lil’ Slim” Holt takes the helm of his late father’s band, Magic Slim and The Teardrops.  He sings convincingly on all but two of the 12 tracks. Two of them are sung and played by former Teardrops member John Primer.  The mixing presents a modern and vibrant sound. 

 

What is striking about Shawn Holt’s guitar playing is that he sounds just like a chip off the old block. His guitar tone is fat, raw and unadulterated. He only uses a thumb pick for his guitar, with no special effects, and straight into his amplifier. It is indeed a guitar style that is reminiscent of his father’s, the late Morris “Magic Slim” Holt who passed away early this year (R.I.P. -- August 8th, 1937- February 21st, 2013).

Shawn wrote five tunes on this recording.  Paying homage to his father, the Teardrops also recorded two of Magic Slim’s songs: “Buddy Buddy Friend” and “Please Don’t Dog Me”. This adds a nice nostalgic touch to a great CD. The remaining five songs are well-known covers. Daddy Told Me offers a list of fine no nonsense blues:  From heavy lumps, old-school Chicago shuffles, swings, to low-down in-your-face slow blues. The Teardrops also use background vocals on a few tunes. These, though basic, are effective and help the tracks.

 

As with previous Magic Slim recordings on Blind Pig Records (10 CDs in the last 24 years!) the musical approach taken here is “less-is-more”. There are no horns or keyboard players on any songs, for instance. And it works admirably well. Not many quartet blues ensembles today can reproduce the unique and deceptively simple lumps and blues that Magic Slim used to play. This band (a quartet) is unique in that it can… and does! Effortlessly.  

 

This CD comes with no liner notes. It could have helped the reader to get better acquainted with Shawn Holt. A lesser number of blues covers could have also been considered, though ultimately they do not take away from this entertaining CD.

 

The addition of John Primer, a previous Teardrops band member himself (13 years with Magic Slim, 1982-1995) also adds an exciting touch.

 

The passing of the torch from father to son is a success. A new era begins.

 

For info: www.blindpigrecords.com

 

Pierre Lacocque is the bandleader/harmonica player/songwriter for Delmark recording artists Mississippi Heat. For info: www.mississippiheat.net

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