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Church Of The Blues

Watermelon Slim

Northern Blues 2019

Review by David Bowling

 

William Homans, better  known as Watermelon Slim, has taken an unusual journey for a bluesman; born in Boston, B.A. from the University of Oregon, Masters degree from Oklahoma State, and a tour of Vietnam. He released his first album in 1973 but waited 20 years to release his second. Now he has retuned with his 13 release titled Church Of The Blues.

His guitar work is built on the legacy of Mississippi Fred McDowell. He plays a slide-resonator electric guitar that produces a unique sound. His overall approach channels Muddy Waters with a little Champion Jack Dupree thrown in for good measure.

His new album consists of seven original compositions and seven classic covers. His cover of McDowell’s “Highway 61” is spot on, while the classic “Smokestack Lightning is more basic, which greatly enhances the song.

His original compositions, “Post Modern Blues,” “Charlottesville (Blues For My Nation),” and “Holler #4” are all modern blues songs that have their foundations firmly rooted in the Delta.

Watermelon Slim is a modern days blues artist who respectfully updates the styles and traditions of the past. Church Of The Blues is an excellent album for any fan of the blues.

Rating: ***1/2

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