If any single thing could be said about Magic Slim & The Teardrops, the watchword that prevails is consistency. Over eight CDs on the German Wolf label and the same total for Blind Pig Records -- compilations notwithstanding -- this group not only delivers time and time again with their electric contemporary urban blues, but continually reminds us of the forefathers that preceded them in making Chicago a focal point for this music. From classics by Elmore James, Roosevelt Sykes, Robert Nighthawk, J.B. Hutto, Clay Hammond, and Little Milton, Slim and the band put their foot to the wood and never let up on the gas, steaming through these classic blues songs with a rock & roll attitude. Three originals by Slim also reflect the same no-nonsense posture, but add updated, doubting Thomas inquiries, as on the shuffle rocker "Do You Mean It?," "Shame," and the sly Chi-Town blues of "Treat Me the Way You Do." While the smart, well-chosen material is the key to their success, it's how they play with utter confidence, energy, passion, and drive that sets this band apart from all others. Kudos to second guitarist Jon McDonald, bassist Andre Howard, drummer B.J. Jones, and Morris Holt (aka Slim) for fortifying this music without any apologies. This is not news for the blues community who are well aware of how great Magic Slim & the Teardrops have always been, but in light of them just getting better and better, someone in Chicago should build a monument to this group for their determination, and their ability to do the city proud worldwide. Raising the Bar is yet another excellent effort made by blue-collar workers, deserving of universally wide recognition, and comes highly recommended without a doubt.
AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos