John Primer – Teardrops for Magic Slim | Album Review

John Primer – Teardrops for Magic Slim

Blues House Productions

12 tracks/70 minutes

Recorded live at Rosa’s Lounge in Chicago on November 26, 2022, this fantastic tribute to Morris Holt, better known as Magic Slim features Slims’ former band mate John Primer giving us twelve outstanding songs that Magic Slim made part of his performances. The album pays tribute to Slim ten years after his passing.

The Teardrops here in addition to John are Jon McDonald on 2nd guitar, Earl Howell and Lenny Media on drums, and Danny O’Connor on bass. Slims’ son Shawn Holt also makes a guest appearance on a pair of tunes. The band is tight do a great job throughout.

“Mama Talk To Your Daughter” leads off the album, a classic Slim tune. Primer nails the lead vocals and guitar and he and the band give a boisterous and reverent performance. “Luv Sumbody” follows and Primer gets a nice groove going that just makes you hearken back to Magic Slim. The guitar stings and it’s just a great cut. “Every Night, Every Day” is a pretty and slow blues done right. Soulful and just something that the belly-rubbing dancers must have been out there grinding to.

Next is “Ain’t Doing Too Bad,” a slick shuffle with some great guitar and more solid vocals. “Buddy Buddy Friend” gets that great Magic Slim groove going again, a tasteful and cool rendition. “Trouble Of My Own” is one Slim penned himself and it’s  deep and cool slow blues. The long instrumental opening is pretty and then the vocals begin, delivered with feeling and emotion; very cool stuff. The guitar is cool and over the top as one would expect from Magic Slim; Primer does a superb job here.

Shawn Holt appears on the next two cuts. Slim’s son plays guitar and sings on “Let Me Love You Baby” and “It Hurts Me Too,” two classics from his Dad’s repertoire. He sings and plays with passion, leading the audience in call and response on the first cut and then slowing things down to a somber and beautiful sound on the latter piece. This is some wickedly cool music. Elmore James’ “Look Over Yonder” is next. The lead guitar rings brightly and Primer howls out the vocals as his former band mate did.

“The Things I Used To Do” is up next, another great slow and classic blues. Solid guitar work and vocals continue as Primer pys homage to Slim once again. “Before You Accuse Me” gets a jumping and fun cover as John wails on guitar. There are vocals, but this is a huge guitar cut with beautiful soloing. The album concludes with Little Milton’s “The Blues Is Alright.” This final tribute to the blues giants completes a great set of a dozen songs that Slim often performed for his adoring fans.

It’s been ten year since we lost Slim.  His raucous and wonderful guitar and vocals were something I and so many blues fans enjoyed over his career. This recording in tribute to Slim done at Rosa’s Lounge last year is a wonderful remembrance. John Primer spent many years playing with the Teardrops and pays an exceptional tribute to his old mentor. I most highly recommend adding this album to your blues collection. It’s a superb tribute and just great performances from top to bottom that fans will savor over and over again!

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