Son of the Seven Sisters
Published November 2019
Blues Music Magazine
A storied career beyond one’s wildest thought process, (check out his bio on Wikipedia if you think we kid,) Clarence Sims, aka Fillmore Slim has the good fortune to be a mid-octogenarian but is in his prime as a recording artist. Born in Baton Rouge, but living in the Bay Area for many years, Slim’s made an excellent choice in recording this delightful CD at famed Greaseland Studios in San Jose. Playing music since at least the mid-50s, Slim is an elegantly grizzled and fully alive artist. He obviously revels his role as a master-blaster of blues, funk, soul and R&B.
Rick Estrin’s a co-producer of the album, and his genius cohort, Christoffer “Kid” Andersen’s production choices for Slim, along with a who’s who of Northern California-based players make for a wonderful listen. Coming in at an hour and change, Slim wrote ten of the twelve cuts, proving prodigious energy throughout.
Voodoo rhythm permeates the title track, and Jim Pugh’s captivating Wurlitzer piano playing make this track both mysterious and engrossing. “Rock Star” tributes many of Sims’ friends and influences, mostly passed now, but still alive in Slim’s soulful heart. “Kid” on guitar wonderfully recreates the sound of all those mentioned, and Estrin provides a short but punchy solo.
“I’m a Playboy” describes the real-life Mr. Sims, and although the tune doesn’t quite measure up to the quality of all the other tracks, you can sure dance to it. “Jody Must Be In My Business” is a standout, with delightful, hilarious talkback from Diva Ladee Chico. Within the same cut, Angelo J. Rossi stings a mean lead blues guitar. “I’m a Badd Brotha Foya” provides an exacting James Brown/Curtis Mayfield beat featuring funky horns, A.C. Myles sharply defined guitar work and Slim’s pervasive attitude toward women in general and particular. Maybe he’s not PC, and definitely he’s a hoot, but he’s always a self-satisfied man in song and on stage. (He’s the self-proclaimed “Godfather of Hip Hop.”)
Walter Jacobs most bluesy “Last Night” is a thriving throwback with Slim’s individual stamp as well. Estrin’s harmonica solo here showcases his international stature. He’s just a pure pleasure to listen to. And besides, anyone playing harp on a Little Walter song has to be confident beyond belief.
Really look forward to Slim’s tenth effort, ‘cause his ninth is completely contemporary and a whole lot of wicked fun.