With a voice like that of Ray Charles and a persona more like James Brown, Guitar Slim was a true showman and a blues and rnb artist heavily influenced by one of my personal favourites T-Bone Walker and the eccentric Cajun come country come blues musician Clarence Gatemouth Brown.
Hailing originally from Mississippi, the cotton field worker made his way to New Orleans after being conscripted to the army in WW2. Famous for having an assistant that would trail behind him with up to 350 yards of cord seperating his guitar and amp and whom he would occasionally play on the shoulders of, he wore bright coloured suits and died his hair to match the colours.
The talented guitarist started recording at the beginning of the 50s and by the end of the decade had already died an alcoholic. Guitar Slim has a clean, crisp sound to his guitar playing, it's electric and sounds really fresh.
Sufferin Mind is an album that with 26 tracks and therefore covers a great deal of his careers and there's everything from old school numbers such as "Reap What You Sow" and "Bad Luck Blues" through to extremely jazzy upbeat rnb songs that make use of pianos and saxophones heavily - Twenty Five Lies and I got Sumpin For You, in fact there's little of the hard blues sound that you'd get from the type of artists that moved north to Chicago and recorded on Chess Records, Guitar Slim has more in common with the white cats of the 50s such as Elvis and co., there's distinct doo-wop and big band sounds in his music.
I think the best track on this album has to be "Guitar Slim", a song written about the man himself and the lyrics sum up the flamboyant nature of the artist, it's catchy and the guitar playing is exquisite.