Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Lightnin' Slim - Rooster Blues (Classic Album US 1960)

Size: 77.2 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

When people talk about Louisiana swamp blues, this is what they're talking about. Excello Records' first foray into albums came with this wonderful collection of singles by Lightnin' Slim largely issued around the success of the title track, an R&B hit in 1960. 

"Long Leanie Mama," "My Starter Won't Work," "It's Mighty Crazy," "Hoo-Doo Blues," "Tom Cat Blues," "Lightnin' Troubles," "G.I. Slim" and "Feelin' Awful Blues" are all certified swamp blues classics and about as lowdown as the genre can get possibly get. 

With Lazy Lester on harmonica for the majority of the tracks here, the stripped-down approach to Slim's brand of blues casts these sides in a decidedly front-porch ambience with the added pulsating tape echo and oddball percussive effects just making everything on here sound even more doom-laden. 

Lightnin' Slim (March 13, 1913 - July 27, 1974) was an African-American Louisiana blues musician, who recorded for Excello Records and played in a style similar to its other Louisiana artists. Blues critic ED Denson has ranked him as one of the five great bluesmen of the 1950s, along with Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson.

Lightnin' Slim was born Otis V. Hicks on a farm outside St. Louis, Missouri. moving to Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the age of thirteen. Taught guitar by his older brother Layfield, Slim was playing in bars in Baton Rouge by the late 1940s.

He debuted on J. D. "Jay" Miller's Feature Records label in 1954 with "Bad Luck Blues" ("If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all"). Slim then recorded for Excello Records for twelve years, starting in the mid-1950s, often collaborating with his brother-in-law, Slim Harpo and with harmonica player Lazy Lester.

Slim took time off from the blues for a period of time and ended up working in a foundry in Pontiac, Michigan, which resulted in him suffering from constantly having his hands exposed to high temperatures. He was re-discovered by Fred Reif in 1970, in Pontiac, where he was living in a rented room at Slim Harpo's sister's house. 

Reif soon got him back performing again and a new recording contract with Excello, this time through Bud Howell, the present President of the company. His first gig was a reunion concert at the 1971 University of Chicago Folk Festival with Lazy Lester, whom Reif had brought from Baton Rouge in January 1971.

In the 1970s, Slim performed on tours in Europe, both in the United Kingdom and at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland where he was often accompanied by Moses "Whispering" Smith on harmonica. He last toured the UK in 1973, with the American Blues Legends package.

In July 1974, Slim died of stomach cancer in Detroit, Michigan, aged 61.

Slim has been cited as a major influence by several contemporary blues artists, including Captain Beefheart, who in a 1987 radio interview with Kristine McKenna, stated that Lightnin' Slim was the only artist he could recommend somebody listening to.

01. Rooster Blues 2:33
02. Long Leanie Mama 2:10
03. My Starter Won't Start 2:50
04. G.I. Slim 2:29
05. Lightnin's Troubles 2:35
06. Bed Bug Blues 2:42
07. Hoo-Doo Blues 2:21
08. It's Mighty Crazy 2:38
09. Sweet Little Woman 2:09
10. Tom Cat Blues 2:44
11. Feelin' Awful Blues 2:58
12. I'm Leavin' You Baby 2:28

Bonus tracks:
13. Bad Luck trouble 2:54 (1956)
14. I'm a Rolling Stone 2:27 (1957)
15. I'm Evil 2:22 (1962)

1. Link
2. Link


billyclex said...

Used to have on lp and lost. thanks for the post

Supersonic75 said...

Great one. Thanks!

john said...

I also used to have this album. Thanks very much.

mojo_boy said...

Who is playing the harp alongside Lightnin' Slim in the picture above?

Rich .....

ChrisGoesRock said...


Try to find the photo with Google search with "pictures". I found it in that way.