Magic Slim & the Teardrops
Morris Holt, a/k/a Magic Slim was born in Torrence, Mississippi on August 7, 1937. He took an early interest in music, singing in the church choir. His first love was piano but, having lost a finger on his right hand in an accident, he found it difficult to play properly and switched to guitar. He worked in the fields during the week and played the blues at house parties on the weekends.
At age 11 Slim moved to Grenada, Mississippi where he later met and became friends with Magic Sam (who, years later in Chicago, gave him the name Magic Slim). Sam gave Slim some pointers on guitar when they were still youngsters. When Slim made his first trip to Chicago in 1955, Sam hired him to play bass in his band. Slim returned to Mississippi for 5 more years, perfecting his craft before he again returned to Chicago.
Slim gained national and international attention when he began playing regularly at Florence's on Chicago's south side in 1972, filling in occasionally for Hound Dog Taylor, and taking over the gig when Hound Dog moved on to a more lucrative career on the road. He formed his own band called the Teardrops, consisting of his younger brothers, Nick(whom Slim had taught to play bass) and Douglas, the drummer along with Junior Pettis on rhythm guitar. Slim's raw, rough-edged slide guitar playing, with a pounding bass line overlaid with his fiery guitar riffs and gruff, good natured vocals, was the perfect complement to the often rowdy and sometimes violent atmosphere at Florence's.
Eventually Slim left Florence's to launch a career that has taken him across the country and overseas where he is even better known then in the U.S. In 1989, he toured Europe, Japan and Brazil becoming an instant hero in Brazil. He opened up for Buddy Guy, Etta James and Albert Collins on the first blues festival staged in Brazil and the media said he stole the show from all the illustrious competition. He then appeared on television there and dozens of magazine articles as well as every newspaper in the country. In 1990 he returned there selling out venues in 4 cities, three of which had never seen a blues show before. In 1994 Eddie Vedder personally selected the band to open a show for Pearl Jam at the New Regal Theater.
Slim recorded a record for Wolf Records in Germany while touring in 1990 and again in 1991. Both were awarded the W.C. Handy award for the best foreign traditional blues record for the years 1990 and 1991. He then recorded GRAVEL ROAD for Blind Pig Records which was very well acclaimed.
Magic Slim & the Teardrops have been nominated in the W.C. Handy Blues Awards for “Blues Band of the Year” for the past three years in a row. This category is very select and only nominates the top 6 bands each year.
His latest album on Blind Pig Records, Snakebite, released in April, 2000 is receiving great reviews and high acclaim. Slim's brother, Nick Holt is still playing the pounding bass lines that are integral to the Teardrops sound. Michael Dotson has smoothly slipped into the 2nd guitar position. His guitar work and vocals, have filled the gap John Primer left behind. An explosive drummer, Allen Kirk fills out the roster and perfectly complements the others with his incredible timing. Magic Slim and the Teardrops are a no frills, in your face Chicago blues band playing blues with a high energy delivery that will leave you breathless and begging for more.
“Magic Slim consistently offers no-frills houserockin’ blues. He and his band are a national treasure.”
---Living Blues Magazine
“Magic Slim is pure 100% blues. When audiences have the opportunity to see/hear a band like this in action then there is little chance of them being conned by the many pseudo-blues acts out there. Magic Slim & the Teardrops should be the standard by which we compare all others.”
Real Blues July 1998 Canada
“Chicago’s Last “Real”Blues Band”
Boston Blues Society, 1998
“Make no mistake, big guy Magic Slim (Morris Holt) and his gang of three are the premier Chicago blues band on the road and in the recording studio today.”
Downbeat September 1998
“Magic Slim purveys high voltage Chicago blues with a jolt of Delta juice”
College Media Journal,
Reno, July 1998
“These guys are simply the best at what they do—playing unrefined and unadulterated electric Chicago bar room blues”
Twin Cities Blues News
“In a genre often cluttered with has-been rockers, young heavy metal merchants, and other blues-deficient players looking for a niche and an easy buck, it’s refreshing to hear a powerful album by a vibrant blues artist who knows the idiom inside and out. No doubt about it, Magic Slim is the genuine article.”
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