Chickenbone Slim – Damn Good and Ready
12 Tracks – 48 minutes
Larry “Chickenbone Slim” Teves drops his fifth album and second for the Vizztone label. Like his previous album, Serve It to Me Hot, Kid Anderson produced the album at his Greaseland Studios. The band consists of Chickenbone Slim on guitar and vocals, Laura Chavez on guitar, Marty Dodson on drums, Justin Guevera on bass, and according to the liner notes “Kid Anderson on “everything else and then some”. Slim’s website references his backing band’s name as The Biscuits. It should be noted that Laura Chavez became the first woman to win the Best Instrumentalist – Guitar at the 2023 Blues Music Awards in Memphis.
The album consists of twelve original songs and leads off with “High Ballin’ Train”. Slim announces that “My Mama Used to call me her little bull in a china shop. Once I start rolling man I really don’t want to stop”. A you might expect with an opening line like that, you get a powerhouse rocker with a driving drum beat. Next up is the swinging “Let’s Go Lindy” which will take you back to a hop as he notes about his girl “When she hits the floor the girl never wants to stop” and will likely drive you to get up and jitterbug also. on ” Drink Me” he says “You can’t fight it. I’m What you need”. and has a great guitar run in the middle of the song.
“Rather Be Up” raises a positive note in a bouncy song that says “I’d rather fly up off the ground, see the light shining all around. I’d rather be up than down.” The title song is another all-out rocker as he declares “I’m “Damn Good and Ready” to be loving you”. “Deepest Blue” is a country-styled waltz and remembrance of a lost love that he met a dance when he “might have been all of sweet 16”.
Eric Spaulding guests on sax in a fall back to rock ‘n’ roll song that declares that his woman has a “Rock & Roll Soul” and “When she hears the music she’s drawn to the beat. Ain’t no way to stop her from moving her feet. On ” I’m Buying” he says “Now I’m flush, gonna treat all my friends”. “Hey, how about a round for the whole neighborhood”. Slim warns with some menace “Don’t put “Ice in My Whiskey”. ” I keep my enemies close, I’m loyal to my friends”.
On “Old Cat Man”, he defines the person as “you fly like an angel, you’re the devil when you land”. The song has another great solo run. “Ty Cobb’s Chiclets” offers a biography of baseball great Ty Cobb. After painting a picture of a mean individual “known throughout the league as an S.O.B. He sharpened his spikes with a metal file. he was hated and feared, and he never cracked a smile. His headstone was poured extra heavy. They buried him deep to make sure he stayed buried.” But Slim concludes that “He was the first player ever in the Hall of Fame”.
The album concludes with ” I don’t Want to Talk About It”. While you are never sure exactly what “it” is, he leaves no doubts that he wants nothing to do with “it”, not even “to watch a 12-part Hollywood Netflix TV version of it” and a driving guitar just gives emphasis to his dismissal of the whole issue.
This is a fun, rocking album with clever lyrics and enjoyable instrumental runs. But the album strikes me as more of an Amerciana or roots album than a blues album. A few songs may pass as blues rock. This is not a criticism, but just a clarification of the style of music presented to aid your expectations of the album.