Unlike Mississippi Fred McDowell, who hailed from Rossville, TN, Memphis Slim was actually from Memphis, although his real name was Peter Chatman. By any name, Slim was a masterful blues pianist with a distinctive style. This satisfying drummerless two-fer was originally issued as 1960s albums Just Blues and No Strain, all songs written by the prolific pianist, recorded in the same session and re-released the year after he died in Paris in 1988. The 23-tune collection opens with "Beer Drinking Woman" (with sly Funeral March quotes), followed by one of his patented, totally believable spoken intros. Fully nine of these tracks feature just piano and voice, illustrating beyond a doubt that this bluesman was the real deal who needed no help to get his point across.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Allan