Too Slim and the Tail Draggers were formed in 1986 in Spokane, Washington by Tim “Too Slim” Langford. Since then, Langford has logged many miles on many gigs, becoming a behemoth on guitar, especially slide guitar. He incorporates many influences into his brand of blues including rock, delta blues, roots, and a dabble of soul here and there. In 2012, Shiver, was nominated for Blues Rock Album Of The Year at the BMA awards.
Blue Heart, on Underworld Records, is produced by Tom Hambridge, who has produced several recent albums for Joe Louis Walker, Buddy Guy, and George Thorogood, just to name a few. He also mixed and mastered the album, assisted by engineer Michael Saint Leon. As one would expect from this level of talent, the mix is dynamite; clear, clean, full, beautiful sound. Production is clean and uncluttered as well. Personnel are: Tim “Too Slim” Langford – vocals and guitars, Tom Hambridge – drums, percussion, and vocals, Rob McNelley – electric guitar, Tommy MacDonald – bass, and Reese Wynans on B3 organ.
Material on Blue Heart is varied and well rounded. The eleven songs here clock in at 50 minutes, so there is plenty of time to be spent with this recording. Trust us, you will want to spend time with it. Our favorites included the opener, “Wash My Hands,” which has an old school ZZ Top quality to it, and features enthusiastic, crunchy riffing, and gritty vocals from Langford. “Minutes Seem Like Hours” will get a lot of radio play, as well it should. A slow delectable blues, this cut vaguely recalls The Animals during their heyday. “Blue Heart” is moderately uptempo, not quite a boogie, not quite a shuffle, definitely catchy and inviting, and the band is super tight! We mean like Allen Toussaint and his band kind of tight! “New Years Blues” is another slower blues that just simmers, and slowly boils. “Preacher” evokes memories of the delta classics, and features some bodacious slide. The album closer, “Angels Are Black,” is acoustic guitar and percussion only, which is hauntingly effective.
This is an album listeners will find themselves playing again and again. Here’s a blues album that perks us up, and just plain makes us feel good. Take this for a test drive sooner rather than later.