Review: Tim “Too Slim” Langford – Broken Halo

Posted on: Thursday, Jul 19, 2012

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Tim “Too Slim” Langford – Broken Halo

(Underworld Records: und0020)

Tim Langford, the front man of Too Slim and The Taildraggers has spent time away from his band to record a mostly acoustic solo album, that contains numbers of a personal nature such as; “Gracie,” an unapologetic heart-rending piece concerning the passing of his grandmother, with the inherent affect it had on his grandfather and he regrets and laments his own (as a child) only too obvious lack of understanding of the deep felt loss at this event in his family’s life. Which; rather than embarrass or indeed open the door to unwarranted criticism of emotional deceit; it in fact helps to establish the integrity of the whole album.

Using; ukulele, Dobro and slide, on the majority of the numbers here he creates and displays an overall sound, atmosphere, ambience call it what you will; a period sound that evokes the rich delicate fragile dignity of pre-war blues. There are three titles; “Broken Halo,” “Dollar Girl,” and “North Dakota Girl,” that utilise the full band treatment, the former is a good time toe tapping shuffler,  the second is all about the night times pay for play! While the third is a low-down harmonica led bluesy rolling slowburner concerning ideal girlfriends.

The solitary and powerfully resonating Spanish overtones of the instrumental “La Llorona,” sends dark chills down the spine. “You Hide it Well,” is strongly reminiscent of early performances by Muddy Waters, meanwhile “Long Tall Black Cat,” is a fruity walking blues that jollily jogs along with a sparse but, full-bodied striking Doro. Tim fully verbally vents his spleen on the subject of a poor working musician with “Forty Watt Bulb,” the language is so blue that it certainly qualifies as the blues. Recommended!

BRIAN HARMAN

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www.tooslim.org

www.underworldindierecords.com

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