CD Review – Tim ‘Too Slim’ Langford “Broken Halo”
“The power in his playing is comparable to the way a blade cutes rows into a field; his music is informed and defined by the immediacy of touching a string and the knowledge of how it effects the air around it.”
Robert Gordon used these words to describe an early recording of Muddy Waters, but he could have been talking about the new album Broken Halo from Tim “Too Slim,” Langford, who is no doubt a disciple of Muddy. Veteran blues man “Too Slim,” has stepped away from his role of leading the high powered electric blues rocking “Tail Draggers,” and performs all the instruments on the eleven original tracks including acoustic guitars, bass, dobro, ukulele, harmonica and programmed drums.
The songs of personal reflection from some twenty six plus years on the road were recorded with an intimate presence by the legendary Conrad Uno at his Egg Studio’s in Seattle. Every songwriter will identify with the poignant “Three Chords,” and its lament of the artistic process, while every musician who has ever played a gig in a dive bar knows Too Slim is preaching to the choir on the evocative “40 Watt Bulb.” Everyone should give a hard listen to the tale of our times “Shakin’ a Cup,” masterly played on acoustic with surprising harmonica back up. Too Slim shows off his award winning slide chops on the delta blues classics “You Hide It Well,” and “Long tail Black Cat,” then turns a corner with ukulele for the sweet Hawaiian styled “Princeville Serenade.” Too Slim gets autobiographical with the tribute to his better half for “North Dakota Girl,” and the delicate ode to his grandparents with the sincere Dylanesque “Gracie.”
Few artists will take the risk to step away from a strong band and make a true solo album. With Broken Halo, Tim “Too Slim” Langford has done it and come away with what may be his finest achievement yet.
Rick J Bowen