Magic Slim & the Teardrops | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Magic Slim & the Teardrops 

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For those of us who first encountered Magic Slim years ago at his legendary Sunday-afternoon blues jams at Florence's Lounge at 55th and Shields, it's hard to believe that this former best-kept secret of the south side has become an international celebrity. Unlike some, however, Slim hasn't let success go to his head, or his music. He sounds as hungry as ever--he doesn't just play a solo, he attacks it and drags it screaming into submission. Second guitarist John Primer, meanwhile, has developed into a musical force almost as formidable as Slim. Primer was taught by the great Sammy Lawhorn before being recruited by Muddy Waters (he played with Waters until he died), and both Lawhorn's elegance and Waters's timeless Delta/Chicago stylings are evident in Primer's interpretations and vocals. Especially notable is the band's choice of material--both Slim and Primer are unusually courageous in their willingness to go off the beaten track to find songs, and the results are continually surprising and musically unbeatable. Tuesday, B.L.U.E.S. Etcetera, 1124 W. Belmont; 525-8989. Wednesday, Blue Chicago, 937 N. State; 642-6261. Next Friday and Saturday, July 5 and 6, B.L.U.E.S., 2519 N. Halsted; 528-1012.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher.

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