Review: Too Slim And The Taildraggers – Shiver

Posted on: Friday, Dec 16, 2011

(Underworld Records – UND0018)

Formed in 1986 and coming out of Spokane, Washington, Too Slim And The Taildraggers have released their 11th album, “Shiver” – a collection firmly rooted in the blues, but with plenty of rock and roots leanings. The 12 tracks here are all penned by front man Tim “Too Slim” Langford (guitar and vocals), the rest of the band being Polly O’Keary (bass and vocals) and Tommy Cook (drums) . . . with also a host of guest appearances.

Langford’s guitar is impressive throughout, and the songs range from uptempo slide-drenched blues, some ballads and out-and-out rockers. The opening “Stoned Again” commences with nice acoustic slide, before a dirty electric slide riff takes over; it’s followed by the swampy blues of “Daddies Bones” . . . Langford’s voice here in Billy Gibbons territory, and indeed the whole recording contains many ZZ Top influences to these ears.

“Can’t Dress It Up” has a pretty big rock feel to it, with some roaring lead guitar over a punchy horn section, who are led and arranged by the very in-demand Mark Kazanoff on tenor saxophone. “In Your Corner” fairly races out of the traps, led by more scintillating slide guitar and propelled by the rhythm section of O’Keary and Cook, it’s a roadhouse rocker of the highest order.

The great soulful voice of Curtis Salgado guests on two tracks, albeit one of them really an intro into the next song . . . the gospel “I Heard Voices”, leading into the smooth and funky “Everybody’s Got Something” . . . . complete with more impressive licks from Langford. “She Sees Ghosts” sees more channelling of the classic ZZ Top sound, it’s a mid-paced number that also features the horns again.

Elsewhere the cool strutting “Inside Of Me” is a highlight, with Joe Doria guesting on keyboards; with the SRV-influenced bluesy shuffle “As The Tears Go By” heading the band down to Texas. The title track, “Shiver” keeps it in the family as Tim Langford’s son, Austin Elwood Langford  handles the lead guitar duties. The closing “Bucerius” takes the pace down, this melodic instrumental named after the Mexican town where Langford honeymooned . . . lots of tasteful guitar playing to end a most enjoyable and varied release.


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