Too Slim has hands of stone. Tim Langford’s alter ego hits the strings like a steel-drivin’ man, pounding away relentlessly. Slim is an unusual amalgam, a creature clad in cowboy attire, assembled in Seattle, based in Nashville, playing Mississippi, Texas, and Chicago blues. Aided by drummer Jeff Fowlkes and bassist Zach Kasik, Slim seems to have no preference for any particular style or region as long as it’s loud and raucous.
The title cut of The Remedy sounds like the Red Hot Chili Peppers chained to Led Zep and thrown in a cage to slug it out while Slim tries to stomp his bow-wow box to smithereens.
Slim slides down to Texas for some ZZ Top homage on “Devil’s Hostage,” like a stowaway from the Top’s 1987 classic Rio Grande Mud. The nearly six-minute cut features Billy Gibbons’ signature guitar sound overlaid with a gravely impersonation of Tom Waits being flayed alive.
“Reckless” channels George Thorogood roaring over a Bo Diddley beat, Slim’s guitar wiggling like a runover snake on hot asphalt.
“Last Last Chance” recollects Dan Baird and the Georgia Satellites, raunchy rock and roll studded with Berry-isms; twangy, Southern-style bar band bombast that shakes, rattles, and rolls.
Slim gets all slippery on Elmore James’ classic “Sunnyland Train,” keeping it on high boil all the way, steelin’ along the fretboard like a tap-dancin’ rooster, stretching out James’ original two-minutes-and-change version to over six minutes with some lowdown boogie-woogie in the middle before getting back to screamin’ bidness.
The trio throw a change-up with “Snake Eyes,” Kasik’s banjo-led excursion sounding like a car radio on seek, stations cutting in and out as they barrel cross-country visiting blues, rock, country, and folk formats.
Slim and company revisit the swampy, born-on-the-bayou sound of Creedence Clearwater Revival on “Think About That.” But Slim just can’t resist a little side trip to Texas, tossing in a Billy Gibbons turnaround about three quarters of the way through the journey.
In the current stay-at-home environment, it’s nice to have a little traveling music to take you away, if only momentarily. Thanks for the ride, Slim. Hope to see you down the road.