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Magic Slim

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

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