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Magic Slim

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Magic Slim & the Teardrops proudly upheld the tradition of what a Chicago blues band should sound like. Their emphasis on ensemble playing and a humongous repertoire that allegedly ranged upwards of a few hundred songs gave the towering guitarist's live performances an endearing off-the-cuff quality: you never knew what obscurity he'd pull out of his oversized hat next. Born Morris Holt on August 7, 1937, the Mississippi native was forced to give up playing the piano when he lost his little finger in a cotton gin mishap. Boyhood pal Magic Sam bestowed his magical moniker on the budding guitarist. Holt first came to Chicago in 1955, but found that breaking into the competitive local blues circuit was a tough proposition. Although he managed to secure a steady gig for a while with Robert Perkins' band (Mr. Pitiful & the Teardrops), Slim wasn't good enough to progress into the upper ranks of Chicago bluesdom. So he retreated to Mississippi for a spell to hone his chops. When he returned to Chicago in 1965 (with brothers Nick and Lee Baby as his new rhythm section), Slim's detractors were quickly forced to change their tune. Utilizing the Teardrops name and holding onto his Magic Slim handle, the big man cut a couple of 45s for Ja-Wes and established himself as a formidable force on the South Side. His guitar work dripped vibrato-enriched nastiness and his roaring vocals were as gruff and uncompromising as anyone's on the scene. All of a sudden, the recording floodgates opened up for the Teardrops in 1979 after they cut four tunes for Alligator's Living Chicago Blues anthology series. After that, a series of tough-as-nails albums for Rooster Blues, Alligator, and a slew for the Austrian Wolf logo fattened Slim's discography considerably. The Teardrops weathered a potentially devastating change when longtime second guitarist John Primer cut his own major-label debut for Code Blue, but with Slim and bass-wielding brother Nick Holt still on board, it became doubtful that the quartet's overall sound would change dramatically in Primer's absence. In 1996, Slim signed with Blind Pig and cut some of the most celebrated albums of his career, including Scufflin' in 1996, Black Tornado in 1998, Snakebite in 2000, and Blue Magic in 2002. A live recording taped in 2005 at the Sierra Nevada Brewery was released that same year on both DVD and CD as Anything Can Happen. Tin Pan Alley, a set of recordings made between 1992 and 1998 in Chicago and Europe, was released in 2006 by Austria's Wolf Records. Midnight Blues appeared in 2008, followed by Raising the Bar in 2010. Bad Boy, a collection of covers given the Magic Slim makeover, hit the streets in 2012. However, while on tour with the Teardrops in January 2013, Slim experienced breathing difficulties and was hospitalized first in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania and then in Philadelphia; he died there on February 20, 2013 at the age of 75. ~ Bill Dahl & Al Campbell
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Stations Featuring
Magic Slim

    All Blues

    All Blues
    16 songs

Albums by
Magic Slim

Top Songs by
Magic Slim

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Crazy Woman
  3.   Mind Your Own Business
  4.   What's Wrong
  5.   Think
  6.   Before You Accuse Me
  7.   Please Don't Dog Me
  8.   Down in Virginia
  9.   Scufflin'
  10.   Playin' with My Mind
  11.   In the Heart of the Blues
  12.   Ain't Doing Too Bad
  13.   Jealous Man
  14.   Goin' to Mississippi
  15.   Black Tornado
  16.   Get Your Business Straight
  17.   How Many More Years
  18.   Mustang Sally
  19.   Mama Talk to Your Daughter
  20.   You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had
  21.   I Started Loving You Again
  22.   Part Time Love by Magic Slim & the Teardrops
  23.   Breaking Up Somebody's Home by Magic Slim & the Teardrops
  24.   Young Man's Blues
  25.   Do You Mean It by Magic Slim & the Teardrops
  26.   Stranded on the Highway by Magic Slim & the Teardrops
  27.   I Can't Hold Out by Magic Slim & the Teardrops
  28.   It's Alright
  29.   Treat Me the Way You Do by Magic Slim & the Teardrops
  30.   Still a Fool
  31.   Get Your Business Straight
  32.   Shake It by Magic Slim & the Teardrops
  33.   I Need Lovin' by Magic Slim & the Teardrops
  34.   Black Tornado
  35.   When the Levee Breaks, Pt. 2 by James Cotton
  36.   I Can't Hold Out
  37.   If You Got to Love Somebody
  38.   Loving You
  39.   Why Does a Woman Treat a Good Man So Bad
  40.   The Things I Used to Do
  41.   That Ain't Right
  42.   Spider in My Stew by Magic Slim & the Teardrops
  43.   Please Love Me
  44.   Nineteen Years Old
  45.   Magic Boogie
  46.   Love Like I Wanna
  47.   Honest I Do by Magic Slim & the Teardrops
  48.   Gravel Road
  49.   Going Down Slow
  50.   Cold Women With Warm Hearts
  51.   Born On a Bad Sign
  52.   Born In Missouri
  53.   Look on Yonder Wall
  54.   Mind Your Own Business
  55.   I Can't Trust My Woman
  56.   Ship Made of Paper
  57.   Wake Me up Early
  58.   Cummins Prison Farm by Magic Slim & the Teardrops
  59.   I Don't Believe You Baby by Magic Slim & the Teardrops
  60.   Just Before You Go
  61.   Lonely for Your Love
  62.   I'm a Bluesman
  63.   Full Load Boogie
  64.   Gonna Move to Kansas City by Magic Slim & the Teardrops
  65.   Don't Say That No More
  66.   4:59 a.m. by Magic Slim & the Teardrops
  67.   Goin' to Mississippi
  68.   Dirty Mother For You
  69.   Please Don't Dog Me
  70.   Love My Baby
  71.   The Man You Need
  72.   Love Me Baby
  73.   Sunny Road Blues by Magic Slim & the Teardrops
  74.   Shame by Magic Slim & the Teardrops

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