Lightnin' Slim

Mighty Crazy

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AllMusic Review by

Lightnin' Slim (his real name was Otis Hicks) may have been the rawest artist in the Excello Records stable, and with a roster list that included Slim Harpo, Silas Hogan, and Lonesome Sundown, that's saying something. Slim's barely serviceable (but surprisingly effective) vocals and rudimentary electric guitar skills, backed by sparse drums and the occasional blast of a harmonica, all drenched in producer Jay Miller's trademark bayou reverb, are the very definition of the genre that came to be known as swamp blues. The title of this collection of Slim's early Excello singles, Mighty Crazy, seems more than apt, since everything here is stripped to just nerve and bone, and there is the feeling that just one more take of any of these tunes would tip things right over the edge into howling madness. Slim's interjection of "blow your harmonica, son" (the harp player was Lazy Lester, more often than not) on nearly every track starts to border on repetitive obsession, and you can't help but notice that if things were stripped down any more, these songs would cease to exist at all. These sides are simply some of the most primal electric blues ever recorded. Among the highlights on this dark, somber disc are two versions of "Rock Me Mama," the zapped-up (at least for Slim) "Just Made Twenty One," and the absolutely delightful "Wonderin' and Goin'."

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:48 Spotify
2 3:01
3
2:30
4 3:18
5 2:58
6
3:02
7 3:15
8 3:09
9 2:13
10 2:50
11 2:41
12 2:56
13 2:56
14 2:41
15 2:52
16 3:17 Spotify
17 2:44
18 2:28 Spotify
19 2:27
20 2:22 Spotify
21 2:44 Spotify
22 2:39 Spotify
23 2:44 Spotify
24 2:36
blue highlight denotes track pick