Watermelon Slim- Church of the Blues
Bill “Watermelon Slim” Homans idea of the clerical side of the afterlife is a similar visual to that of a modern office. Saint Peter obviously would have to keep a ledger to keep track of the throngs of people coming through the pearly gates and who would be going elsewhere.
“St. Peters Ledger,” the opener on Watermelons Slim latest Church of the Bluesis an afterlife plea, where the narrator is hitting up Peter for the favor of keeping him out of Purgatory and even paying off his drug dealer the devil.
The opener, and what follows is an album of roots and blues complete with white hot rhythm section and the exceptional slide guitar work of Slim himself.
Blues songs about modern day issues are always risk silliness; “Poster Modern Blues” bypasses the risk by wearing tongue in cheek on its sleeve while rearing a hook and horn section.
“Mni Wiconi- The Water Song” is an activist tune addressing disappearing water while taking on a Los Lobos vibe.
His version of “Get Out of my Life Woman” is refreshingly up-beat sung with some vigor that the woman is gone, while his version of “Smokestack Lightning” conveys a feel of North Mississippi Hill Country Blues.
“Charlottesville” has the repeated line of “I’ve got the blues for my nation” as it addresses the violence the city witnessed in 2017; it’s a serious message coming across in a boogie blues tune. Things close with the silly “Halloween Mama” that comes complete with a keyboard heavy, garage-rock vibe.