GUITAR SLIM, JR.
THE STORY OF MY LIFE
TROUBLE DON’T LAST–LETTER TO MY GIRLFRIEND–THE STORY OF MY LIFE–BAD LUCK BLUES–CAN I CHANGE MY MIND–TOO WEAK TO FIGHT–REAP WHAT YOU SOW–WELL, I DONE GOT OVER IT–TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME–SUFFERIN’ MIND
The tenth annual Record Store Day is fast approaching, this Saturday, April 22, 2007. There will be a spate of new vinyl releases to coincide with this day, and, one of them, Guitar Slim, Jr’s, “The Story Of My Life,” will mark the vinyl debut of this set some thirty years after its debut on CD back in 1987.
Rodney Armstrong is the son of legendary Louisiana bluesman, Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones, and Rodney got the nickname “Slim Jr.” from another Louisiana legend, guitarist Earl King. Jr.’s career was already moving forward when he entered the Big Easy Studios down on Paris Avenue in 1987 to record this set. Many of that city’s best sidemen are present on this one, too. Drummers include Shannon Powell and Kerry Brown, with Rene Coman and Charles Moore on bass, Jon Cleary on keys, and a wealth of horn players led by Milton Batiste, Jr.
Slim Jr. is quite the accomplished guitarist with a strong, soulful delivery. These ten cuts draw on songs made popular by his father, plus some fine Atlantic and Stax-era soul-blues cuts. He kicks off with the slow-blues punch of “I’m so glad Trouble Don’t Last always,” with the horns adding the spice. “Well I Done Got Over It” has a decided Big Easy groove, and Cleary’s piano gets in some fine work over Slim’s guitar.
We had two favorites, too. His take on “Too Weak To Fight” has some brilliant guitar work, and Jr. closes with a flurry of notes as he refers to his guitar as “my real old lady!” And, “Reap What You Sow” digs down into some greasy slow-blues, and features an extended solo.
Guitar Slim, Jr., admitted to having a bit of a “wild streak” in his younger days, but credits the grace of the Good Lord for showing him the way. He now lives a quiet life in the Washington, D. C. area, and “The Story Of My Life” finally gets its due on vinyl. We’ve had this CD in our collection since 1987, and it remains one of our all-time favorites, and the vinyl would be a fine addition to any fan’s collection! Until next time..Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.