Watermelon Slim (real name Bill Homans), the most decorated bluesman of the 21st century, is returning with a new album August 4 recorded in Nashville called Escape From The Chicken Coop.
Escape From The Chicken Coop finds Slim changing directions a bit from his previous three albums (Watermelon Slim & The Workers, The Wheel Man, and No Paid Vacations). He's working with musicians outside of his regular band, The Workers. He's also taken his sound a little more in the country direction, working and co-writing with Gary Nicholson. Nicholson has worked often with Delbert McClinton and recently with Buddy Guy. Slim has often written about the time spent as a truck driver, and that becomes the central focus for Escape From The Chicken Coop. The Coop sessions yielded 21 songs, from which 13 were chosen for the album.
Slim has been nominated for 17 Blues Music Awards in the past four years, including six in 2007 and 2008. In 2008, his The Wheel Man album won Album of the Year and he and his band, The Workers, were honored as Band of the Year.
It's been told and re-told, but no musician I know of has a biography quite as interesting as that of Slim. He is a Vietnam War veteran, wounded in service. In addition to watermelon farming, the occupation that birthed his stage name, he's been a small-time crook, truck driver, forklift operator, sawmiller, firewood salesman, collection agent, funeral officiator, and part-time musician. He's also completed two bachelor's degrees, a master's degree, and joined Mensa after having scored at the genius level on an IQ test. After a near fatal heart attack in in 2002, Slim decided to follow his heart and make music his full-time vocation.
Escape From The Chicken Coop Tracklisting
1. Caterpillar Whine (Long Line Skinner)
2. Skinny Women and Fat Cigars
3. You See Me Like I See You
4. Wreck On The Highway
6. Should I Have Done More
7. Hank Williams You Wrote My Life
8. America's Wives
9. The Way I Am
10. It's Never Too Hard To Be Humble
11. 300 Miles
12. Truck Drivin' Blues
13. 18, 18 Wheeler Powered by Sidelines