When Memphis Slim first visited Europe in 1960, he was already a twenty year veteran recording artist, with many US 78 rpm releases behind him and a very solid reputation leading small bands in the 1940s and ‘50s. It’s no wonder that he was able to captivate an entirely new kind of audience when he crossed the Atlantic, first as a visitor, then as a permanent resident, settling in Paris from 1962. The studios and concert halls of Europe were very different from the juke joints of the South or the nightclubs of Chicago, but it was all the same to Memphis Slim, who could grab and hold his listeners’ attention wherever he played. Throughout the remainder of his life – he died in Paris in 1988, and was buried back home in Memphis – Slim made a great many albums, in all sorts of company, from duetting with Sonny Boy Williamson, to fronting big bands, or French beat groups, or Nashville session musicians. There were so many that the quality inevitably suffered. A blandness crept in, the performances sometimes seeming routine and even perfunctory, and his stock fell among many diehard blues fans. This is a great shame, as he deserves to be numbered among the true greats of the blues. Recordings such as the ones on this disc should help to restore him to his rightful place, as they capture him at the very start of that new era of his career, still sounding fresh, his rich and expressive voice still in its prime, still full of enthusiasm for sharing his own personal heritage of blues and boogie piano.
1. I'm Lost Without You 2. I'll Just Keep Singing The Blues 3. El Capitan 4. This Is A Good Time To Write A Song 5. Big Bertha 6. Train Has Gone 7. Going Down Slow 8. All About Myself 9. The Blues Is Everywhere 10. All By Myself 11. My Gal Keeps Me Crying 12. Matt’s Guitar Boogie 13. I'm Lost Without You 14. Wish Me Well 15. I'll Just Keep Singing The Blues 16. It's Too Late 17. Just A Dream