FAME Review: Too Slim & the Taildraggers - Blue Heart
Too Slim & the Taildraggers - Blue Heart

Blue Heart

Too Slim & the Taildraggers

Underworld Records - UND022

Available from Too Slim's online store.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

It's been a few years since we last heard from Too Slim and the boys, back in their Free Your Mind release (here), but the interval has, if anything, only sharpened up Tim Langford's ('Too Slim' to y'all) heavy blues wont, starting with the kicking Wash My Hands, decidedly Billy Gibbons-esque with aspects of Free (Langford tends to a pronounced Paul Kossoff feel in his lead work, favoring a slower more lyrical approach) always nicely weighted down with doomy melancholy, testosterone, and not accidentally a whiskey mood salted with desert sands and Texas sagebrush. If his guitar work somehow doesn't 100% convince you of that, that rough-ranges singing he touts will make up for it and complete the process.

As in his last FAME-reviewd disc, Slim long ago decided that roosting in the 60s and 70s was the wise option and here sees no reason to relocate. Good on 'im 'cause we're still nowhere near exhausting that golden era. The Simmonds/Youldenish ballad Minutes Seem like Hours broods like a cowpoke barfly trying to figure out just what the hell happened to his world. Then the title cut, Blue Heart, settles down with Howling Wolf and Muddy Waters sieved through John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers.

Engineer Michael Saint Leon achieved the same sort of ambience Robin Brian, Terry Manning, and others erected for ZZ Top's early materials, and there's an interesting coincidence in that. In ZZ's 70s LPs, drummer Bill Ham was the producer and located the perfect tech guys; in Too Slim's gigs, drummer Tom HAMbridge reduplicates the feat for this band. If you want to consider how important that element is over and above the cool-ass compositions and everything else, pay attention to the fact that Too Slim's last three CDs charted over 20 times in Billboard's Top 10 blues slots. Heh, Alligator and the top dawgz must be eating their hearts over that, hm? Ah, but talent will always will tell even if it's a rough, nasty, greasy, psychedelically rooted swampy acumen hosting demons, vagabonds, and rascals among society's outcasts—'cause that's just what you get with Blue Heart, y'all. So leave the PTA and Rotarians behind as you pull on a duster and head for the twilight side of town. That's where it's all happening anyway.

Track List:

  • Wash My Hands
  • Minutes Seem Like Hours
  • Blue Heart
  • Make It Sound Happy
  • Good to See You Smile Again
  • When Whiskey Was My Friend
  • If You Broke My Heart
  • New Years Blues
  • Shape of Blues to Come (David Duncan)
  • Preacher (Ross Sermons)
  • Angels Are Back
All songs written by Timothy "Too Slim" Langford except as noted.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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