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Rolling stones gather no moss and neither does Watermelon Slim, back with a fifth album in five years...

Watermelon Slim To Release Ringers June 1, 2010

Watermelon Slim has wrapped work on his fifth effort for Canada's Northern Blues label, Ringers, due in stores June 1, 2010. Ringers picks up where Escape From The Chicken Coop left off, finding Slim performing a style of Americana roots and blues heavily influenced by classic renegade country music.

Since turning full time to music, Slim has released albums annually beginning in 2006 with his self-titled release for Northern Blues (he self-released two albums prior to that in 2003 and 2004). That album earned him six Blues Music Award nominations. He didn't win any that time around but his followup The Wheel Man earned him another six nominations and this time he brought home two statues. He followed those releases with No Paid Vacation before embarking on a journey that saw him working more country elements into his music on Coop and now Ringers. In between all those albums he and his band The Workers have done just that, touring the country relentlessly. It's a hectic schedule but a heart attack in 2002 helped nudge him down this present path and he embraces everything that has come with it.

"I've lived a fuller life than most people could in two," he said. "If I go now, I've got a good education, I've lived on three continents, and I've played music with a bunch of immortal blues players. I've fought in a war and against a war. I've seen an awful lot and I've done an awful lot. If my plane went down tomorrow, I'd go out on top."

Whether it's life informing or art or art informing life, there is something unique and special about Bill "Watermelon Slim" Homans' American story. The Vietnam veteran recorded what is believed to be the first protest record by a a veteran during the Vietnam War. Merry Airbrakes was released in 1973 and later covered by Country Joe McDonald. After the war, Homans made a living truck driver, forklift operator, sawmiller (where he lost part of his finger), firewood salesman, collection agent, and even officiated funerals. As the name suggests, yes, he was also a watermelon farmer. None of that may sound especially unusual for a man who is now one of the most honored blues artists of his generation but that only tells part of the story. Homans also earned a masters degree — among other academic achievements and honors — and was a member of Mensa, the social networking group for those with certified genius IQs.

Here is the complete tracklisting for Ringers, due June 1, 2010:

  1. Good Old Boys Never Change
  2. Tight Fittin' Jeans
  3. Truck Drivin' Buddy
  4. He Went To Paris
  5. If There Is Any Heaven
  6. Please Take This Cup
  7. No Way To Reach Nirvana
  8. End Of The Line
  9. Cowboyws Are Common As Sin
  10. Soft Lights And Hard Country Music
  11. I Appreciate That
  12. And So Our Song Ends
  13. Living With A Lie
  14. Letter To Stoney

About Josh Hathaway

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Music Review: Watermelon Slim and The Workers – ‘Bull Goose Rooster’

Slim's concern and respect for workers, combined with the excellent musical skills of his band The Workers adds depth to what in any case would be a masterful and thoroughly enjoyable CD.