Louisiana-born, Los Angeles-based blues singer and guitarist Henry Harris, aka South Side Slim, has the tricky balance between the blues tradition and the rigors of modernity down pat. Too many contemporary bluesmen are far too precious about their chosen music, unwilling or unable to expand even slightly upon their chosen masters, be they Elmore James, B.B. King, or at this point even Robert Cray. As a result, their albums often sound airless and un-lived-in, as if they're merely actors playing the roles of bluesmen. The other end of that spectrum leads to bands like that exquisitely awful scene in the movie Ghost World involving the white boy blooze band Blueshammer, who learned everything they know about Willie Dixon off old Led Zeppelin records. South Side Slim sits comfortably in the middle, leavening his old-school Chicago blues with some Southern soul and blues-rock feints whenever the mood strikes. As a result, his fifth album sparkles with invention, from the funky soul groove of the opening "Blue Rain," which features a horn section you'll swear is right on the verge of kicking into Cliff Nobles' "The Horse," to the epic title track, which recalls both Prince and Curtis Mayfield in the course of its blues-soul groove.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason