Magic Slim & the Teardrops, Bobby Bryan | Buddy Guy's Legends | Blues, Gospel, and R&B | Chicago Reader

Magic Slim & the Teardrops, Bobby Bryan Recommended Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Sat., Feb. 21, 9:30 p.m. 2009

Of all the Chicago bluesmen who plied their trade in the city’s south- and west-side clubs in the 70s and early 80s, Magic Slim has carried the raw sound of those fabled jukes into the present most faithfully—and, at least arguably, he plays it with the most passion. On his latest CD, last year’s Midnight Blues (Blind Pig), Slim charges through a characteristic set of bone-crunching shuffles and angsty ballads, and though the album’s cover photo makes it clear enough he’s no spring chicken (he recently turned 71), he sounds utterly undiminished by age. His metallic guitar tone and writhing lead lines still twist and cut like barbed wire, his trademark shiver-string technique is still bracingly fierce and harrowingly sensual, and his lyrics still blend street machismo, sexual aggression (sometimes colored by blatant misogyny, alas), and balls-to-the-wall debauchery. The current Teardrops lineup can’t match his earlier bands in chops or intensity, but once Slim hits the stage it hardly matters who’s behind him—both physically and musically, he remains among the blues’ most commanding figures. Bobby Bryan opens; Devil in a Woodpile play a free acoustic set from 6 to 8:30 PM. —David Whiteis

Price: $15

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