Goin' Back to Tennessee

Memphis Slim

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Goin' Back to Tennessee Review

by arwulf arwulf

Memphis Slim was immensely proud of this album, the first he ever made in his home state of Tennessee. It was recorded at Wayne Moss' Cinderella Studio, a converted garage in Madison, a suburb of Nashville perched between two lakes, in February of 1975. Backed by seven of the area's top session men led by harmonica ace Charlie McCoy, Slim sounds perfectly at home with pedal steel guitar and clavinet. This chapter in Memphis Slim's career combines elements of country and Southern rock with the funky big blues revue sound of the mid-'70s, as background female soul vocals were added later during follow-up production in Bogalusa, LA. The lead singer was Geraldine "Sister Gerry" Richard of Baton Rouge. What you encounter here is much different from Slim's earlier gutsy Arkansas/Mississippi/Chicago piano persona. He enjoys himself fully in the presence of this polished Nashville production team, yodeling on "Blues Cowboy," and carrying on happily, making all kinds of offhand remarks during "Shake That Thing," a song dating back to the mid-'20s. This band rocked wonderfully thanks to the combination of electric guitarists Dale Sellers and Reggie Young and bassist Henry Strzlecki, known in Nashville as the South Pole.

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