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Friday, 29 October 2010 19:28

Watermelon Slim 10/29/10 + Video

Watermelon Slim 10/29/10 Hervé Leteneur / skenea.eu
Written by Matt Champion
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About this Media...

  • Date Recorded: October 29, 2010
  • Artist / Band: Watermelon Slim
  • Hosting Show: Blues in the Night
  • Sound: Jon Valley
  • Video: Ed Kleinberg and Ben Sturdevant

The name Watermelon Slim may seem like an oxymoron, as does seeing him play left-handed slide on an upside down, right-handed guitar. However, essay writer once you hear the traditional blues that he creates you’ll know that he’s more than just traditionally unconventional.

The life of Watermelon Slim, whose real name is Bill Homans, is multi-faceted and full of contradictions. He is a Vietnam veteran and anti-war activist, a truck driving watermelon farmer and Mensa member, and has held many blue collar jobs despite having a batchelor’s degree in journalism and a batchelor’s and master’s degree in history. He taught himself to play slide guitar while in the hospital during the war and has been playing and recording the blues since 1973. He quit his last job in 2003 to become a blues musician full time.

Watermelon Slim and the Workers really do play traditional blues in an unconventional manner. Slim plays slide on the Dobro and sounds as if he were channeling Robert Johnson and Jimmy Page simultaneously. His voice calls up the spirit of the great blues musicians of the past without duplicating those that came before him. He doesn't even duplicate himself, as the band plays gigs without a set list. Slim decides what to play whatever feels right and the rest of the band jumps in without missing a beat. Watermelon Slim and the Workers are currently touring the United States in support of their new album Ringers.

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