Too Slim & the Taildraggers

El Rauncho Grundgé

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Too Slim & the Taildraggers' 1992 release is a solid, foot-stomping collection that appropriates numerous electric blues styles, but rarely seems hackneyed. While his singing is adequate, it's really Tim "Too Slim" Langford's fret-flying guitar playing that keeps the bus on the road. Throughout "Bone of Contention" and a furious "Shake 'Em on Down," Langford channels Stevie Ray Vaughan while nodding to Robert Cray and the boogie blues of ZZ Top. Texas blues seems to run deep on El Rancho Grundgé. It's in the smoky air of a billiards room during the lowdown and dirty shuffle "Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired" and in the swagger of "Lowdown Hoedown," which suggests -- in a good way -- SRV's "Look at Little Sister." Elsewhere, the band has some fun with the surf-inflected "El Rauncho Grundgé" and pours electric mud all over "These Boots Are Made for Walking." Overall, this a strong set from a crack bar band with a love of the blues and a flair for playing.

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