CD Single Review: South River Slim – Under The Soil About Six Feet

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South River Slim

LaSalle bluesman South River Slim has just released a new two-song CD single ripping with a mix of blues, roots and rock similar in vibe and feel to the legendary Traveling Wilburys. It features original songs written by Slim, recorded at Ryan Lewis’ Radsouls Studio.

Under The Soil About Six Feet is charming on several levels. It twangs with big bold chords, slippery slide guitar from axeman Eryk Musyk and a chugging rhythm courtesy of Derek Impens on drums. It shuffles along with that train-like beat that makes End of the Line such a standout track for the Wilburys, although the beat is not the same. Slim’s voice is bit like a combination of Bob Dylan and Tom Petty on this track, telling the story as the song moves along.

Although lyrically Under The Soil About Six Feet is a dark and depressing tale of wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the world, the music and repetitiveness of the title make it an infectious track that’s sure to be a standout at Slim’s concerts.

The CD is rounded out with Buckle Up, Baby, which has a more country-blues vibe than we might be used to with Slim. The country intonation gives the song an old 1940s pre-rock and roll feel, with a heavy emphasis on lap steel guitar played extremely well by John Law of Chatham band The Laws.

It’s a cute song that injects a bit of rock cockiness into the lyrics, including a brief conversation where he’s asked by his girlfriend (Slim gives his best nagging girlfriend voice to this part) about how he loves liquor more than her. He quickly replies “You’re my number one and the liquor is too”. Slim captures a slight touch of those early Sun Records rockabilly recordings on Buckle Up, Baby and may even be treading a little on Hank Williams along the way. It’s a unique mix of country and blues with lyrics that are for the most part spoken instead of sung.

It’s great hearing new music from Slim on a somewhat regular basis. He actually just released a six-song live album in July called Burning Down Bluestown, which was recorded in July at Bluesfest Windsor. Slim returns to Bluesfest for an encore performance on July 13 this year. In the meantime, this CD single is fresh out of the box – and he’s even given the physical copies of the CD a vinyl 45 look to them.

Musicians on the CD include Slim (vocal/guitar), Derek Impens (back vocal/drums/organ), Andrew Iles (backing vocals/guitar), Eryk Musyk (slide guitar on Under The Soil About Six Feet), Vic Do Rego (bass on Under The Soil About Six Feet), John Law (lap steel guitar on Buckle Up, Baby) and Kevin Pererson (bass on Buckle Up, Baby). The tracks were mixed and mastered by Derek Impens.

The single leaves you begging for more.

Check out South River Slim on Facebook or Bandcamp.

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Dan Savoie
Dan has written and photographed for nearly every major newspaper across Canada, as well magazines like Rolling Stone, Rock Scene and Metal Hammer. He has interviewed nearly 1,000 celebrities, including his favourite bands like KISS, Motley Crue, Metallica and Bon Jovi.