Too Slim and the Tail Draggers
By John Taylor
Sure, they favor cowboy hats, tuck their pants into their boots and called Tennessee home for a while. But Too Slim and the Tail Draggers aren’t all hat. They’ve been delivering genuine blues/rock with a distinct Northwest accent for more than three decades now.
The band born in Spokane and now headquartered in Boise has just rolled out its 15th studio album, making it an even 20 when you count five live albums. And they’ve proven up once again with “The Remedy,” a deliberate blend of blues hammered out of rock rhythms and riffs.
With a lineup of Tim “Too Slim” Langford (lead vocals and guitar), Zach Kasik (bass, vocals and banjo) and Jeffrey “Shakey” Fowlkes (drums and vocals), the band’s latest packs a wallop.
Guest harmonica men Sheldon Ziro, Richard “Rosy” Rosenblatt and Jason Ricci add some extra edge to this bust-you-in-the-chops follow-up to “High Desert Heat,” which was nominated for a 2019 Blues Music Award.
Turbocharged guitars, slides, harmonica and even some banjos power this one through 10 original songs and an Elmore James cover (“Sunnyland Train”). Echoing everyone from the Allman Brothers to ZZ Top, Too Slim and the Tail Draggers continue to confidently ride the line between straight-on blues and rock.
OK by us.
Best enjoyed outdoors (with a beer tent and a dance area nearby), they’ve been one of the most popular road acts around these parts for years – a mainstay at many community festivals and concert series.
The songs on “The Remedy” will only add to their repertoire if we ever get past the pandemic and back to enjoying ourselves in crowds.
After kicking off the album with “Last Last Chance,” reminiscent of some 1970s Rolling Stones classic rock anthems, the band lays down “She’s Got the Remedy,” with a driving blues beat that could be the soundtrack for a nasty hangover.
A thick stew of heavy guitar work is brewing on “Devil’s Hostage,” followed by “Reckless,” a harp-spiced trip “down to rock bottom, where I belong.”
As you make your way down the playlist, you’re not likely to find any throw-aways. From the raucous “Keep the Party Rollin’” to the aching loneliness of “Half a World Away” to the band’s first-rate take on Elmore James’ “Sunnyland Train,” this album is sealed with solid workmanship. It’s what we’ve come to expect from some guys who have honed their craft to a point that they have nothing to prove to anyone but themselves.
When you’re this comfortable in your own skin, you can wear whatever boots and hats you want.
Total Time: 53:42
Last Last Chance / She’s Got the Remedy / Devil’s Hostage / Reckless (feat. Sheldon Ziro) / Keep the Party Rollin’ (feat. Sheldon Ziro) / Sunnyland Train / Sure Shot / Platinum Junkie (feat. Jason Ricci) / Snake Eyes / Think About That (feat. Richard “Rosy” Rosenblatt) / Half a World Away