Morris Holt, now known as Magic Slim, grew up in what should have been post-depression Mississippi, although economic change comes slowly (if ever) to share-cropping life. Slim did what his mentor and namesake Magic Sam did: He left the south for Chicago, where in the '50s the blues were electric and the clubs worked a young guitar-slinger harder than any cotton gin. But he was getting paid and making a name with his idiosyncratic style slide guitar without a bottle-neck or a knife, just his big hands on sharp strings, which create pealing vibrato and chilling bends that recall B.B. King and Otis Rush, but remain inseparable from his country-blues soul. He's in his element on the recent lean, mean live album Anything Can Happen; the signature groove "Black Tornado" says it all.
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