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Magic Slim: Snakebite!

Seals’ Windy City colleague, Magic Slim, is the uncrowned king of the Chicago shuffle. Backed by his longtime band, The Teardrops, the big man dredges up more rough and tumble juke joint fare on Snakebite! (Blind Pig 5060; 46:11). Slim states his case boldly from jump on “What’s Wrong,” a raucous roadhouse shuffle, and on the revved-up instrumental “Snakebite,” a tribute to his South Side mentor, Hound Dog Taylor. He gets all the way funky on “Key To Your Door,” written by bass-playing brother Nick Holt, and he rocks with youthful vigor on “Shake It.” For straight slow blues it doesn’t get any bluer than Muddy Waters’ “Country Boy” or “Please Don’t Dog Me,” Slim’s admonition to a cheating woman that includes one line uttered in the unmistakable feral voice of another Chicago mentor, Howlin’ Wolf. And for sheer shuffle power you can’t beat “I Ain’t Lookin’ for No Love” or the energized closer, “Mind Your Own Business.” All hail the shuffle king.

Originally Published