"This number is called 'Roll & Tumble Blues,' you know, you roll and tumble when your woman has gone, and sometimes you cry all night long" ... these are the words Memphis Slim uses to open his fabulous 1973 performance in Paris. Ever the quiet showman, he could always be counted on to charm the crowd with his words before his voice kicked in. But when it did, Slim's raw, transportive vocal power hit listeners with a renewed power each time, as if it were the first time they'd heard it.
"'Diggin' My Potatoes' is what happens when you roll and tumble all night long because you think someone is ... trampling on your vine" ... the concert continues like this, oscillating between authentic titbits, deep blues and faster boogie-woogie piano playing. It is a masterclass in excellency within simplicity, offering music that spent over a century cooking in the dim history of the American South, transmitting feelings and hardships that can only be understood through exceptional mediums like the one-and-only Memphis Slim. Staggering and lulling music that hits your right where the heart simultaneously hurts and swoons.
The King of the Blues plays a supreme set in 1996