In addition to all the CDs that have been pouring in, a few DVDs have shown up as well.
The first one up is by that erstwhile slide guitar man from Oklahoma, Bill Homans, aka Watermelon Slim (a name picked up from his watermelon farming days).
It's titled "Watermelon Slin and the Workers - Live at the Ground Zero Blues Club" in Clarksdale, Miss.
Slim is one unusual guy. He learned to play his guitar left handed while resting across his lap in a hospital bed in Vietnam, using a slide in his right. So now he plays with his guitar on a table in front of him. Or with his Resonator on his lap. He plays a mean harp when he feels like it, and writes some tough songs.
He doesn't always follow the letter of musical blues law, veering off onto swampy country roads now and then, but he never really leaves the blues highway. But he's always low-down and gritty, with gruff vocals and tough slide work.
This DVD is a 16-song showcase for Slim, mostly drawn from his existing body of work, so there's not much in the way of new music. But he adds to the band with guests on a few tracks, including Jimbo Mathus, Charlie Musselwhite, and 77-year-old Clarksdale harp player and blues singer, Big George Brock. Slim and Brock pull out a soaring harp duet on the classic "My Babe."
It's great fun to watch all of them in the confines of a small Southern blues club with an appreciative audience. There are also some extras on the DVD, including an interview with Slim. An enjoyable package.
Here's a video of Slim playing one of the songs on the DVD - "Black Water"
A reminder: There are two Thursday night blues shows in town, competing for your time and dollar.
-- There's a regular blues show at 5ive Lounge in Station Square on Thursday nights, this week featuring Ms. Freddye and Kevin McCarthy.
-- And there's a regular blues-soul-R&B show Thursday nights at the Viking Lounge in McKeesport, where the Tube City Dukes (Jimmy Britton, Robert Peckman and Jeff Ingersoll) welcome guests -- this week Gus Collins and Steve Delach will be on hand.