Photo by Geoffrey George

Southside Slim & Paul McCartney: Early Days


See Southside Slim with Paul McCartney in the Behind-The-Scenes Jam From McCartney's 'Early Days' Video Shoot

In one of his biggest accomplishments of the year, Southside Slim auditioned for, and was hired to jam with Sir Paul McCartney for his Early Days music video, off of the latest album entitled 'New'. Watch the music video, as well as the behind-the-scenes jam with Paul McCartney by clicking here.


New Release News:

Shine Through ItLife Under Pressure
Life Under Pressure evolved from jamming in the studio while the tape was rolling.

 

Shine Through ItSouth Side All Stars
Slim brought over sixteen blues legends into the studio and recorded each one performing an original take on a blues classic.


Sweetback Blues

Sweetback bluesBy: Kari Fretham

Buy it Now on Lulu.com

Reviews for South Side Slim


OC Weekly
Adam Lovinus
OC Weekly
USA

June 23, 2015

"There was plenty of this happening at the Fullerton Museum Plaza. I caught the searing guitar acrobatics of Southside Slim, who gets his Stratocaster as hot as I have ever heard single coil pickups sound."


Southland Blues
Southland Blues
USA

December, 2004
SOUTH SIDE SLIM
Trouble On The South Side
--Jim Santella

His session of originals takes South Side Slim on a journey through contemporary blues and R&B fun. Singing and wailing on his fiery guitar, the West Coast blues veteran raises the roof.

As his band accompanies with an even balance, Slim takes his time and delivers with energy. His technical mastery on guitar gives the session a sizzlin' appearance. Hot solo work from Joseph Lock on tenor sax, Norman Weatherly on organ, and Johnny Mastro on blues harp makes this session, Slim's 5th CD in six years, a real winner. His originals recall an eclectic array of blues and R&B hues, from Kansas City swing to James Brown funk. Slim peppers each selection with his highly charged electric guitar presence.

"Hell Hounds on My Trail," a slow, earthy blues, burns with passion, as Slim relates the way we feel about the ever-present dangers that surround us.

He includes "Fire and Ice (The Smoking Gun)" to update us in our blues anxiety. An instrumental number, the piece begins with an excerpt from one of President Bush's earlier speeches to the nation concerning the threat from Saddam Hussein. From there, Slim takes it away with "fire and ice" through his blazing guitar. At the end, we're reminded diplomatically that all this warfare took the nation to heart, but did not reveal a "smoking gun" from Iraq's deposed leader.

Slim follows that with a rap selection and several throwback songs. He ends the program with "Trouble on the South Side," in which he walks the fence between blues, R&B and rap.

Through his desire to please a broad audience, South Side Slim has given us an eclectic program that has something in it for everyone.


Living Blues
Living Blues
USA

March/April, 2005
SOUTH SIDE SLIM
Trouble On The South Side
--Jim DeKoster

Since his 2000 debut disc, Five Steps, LA's Henry Harris, a.k.a. South Side Slim, has been delighting some blues fans and infuriating others with his flamboyant persona and guitar styling.

Trouble on the South Side, his fifth release in four years, is no exception, as might be surmised from the singer's menacing glare on the cover photo.

The all-original program begins innocently, with Blue Rain's gentle melody riding over a bubbling dance beat, but Slim quickly turns up the heat on the lewd update of Willie Love's V-8 Ford that follows.

Funky Chicken is not the Rufus Thomas oldie, but a snappy workout in its own right with a Norman Weatherly organ solo, and Slim revs up the Dust My Broom riff for Last Man Standing, and rides a brisk shuffle from bassist Victor G. Purvis and drummer Eric Gardner on Sunset and Vine.

The tempo slows for the appropriately incendiary Hell Hounds On My Trail and the more restrained Guilty Mind. before the funkified Feelin' Pain and a blistering The Jam bring things back up again.

Framed by sound bites from President Bush, Fire and Ice is a surging instrumental driven by Weatherly's endless boogie riff, and Interview With Slim is a hip-hop flavored trip through blues history.

The last four tracks return to the easier groove of the opener, with the acoustic Latin-tinged Ride With Me appearing both with and without its vocal track and the closing title track turning out to be less apocalyptic than expected.

While Slim's light, vibrato-laden vocals and over-the-top guitar will appeal to some listeners more than to others, his take on the blues should at least be heard before it's rejected.


Blues in Britain
Blues in Britain
Great Britain
Volume 1 Issue 35

November, 2004
SOUTH SIDE SLIM
Trouble On The South Side
--Norman Darwen

Although this is Slim's fifth CD, those who have heard his name before probably encountered it in company with guitarist Smokey Wilson whose appearance on Slim's second CD, More Blues From the South Side, garnered our man some welcome attention.. Slim, real name Henry Harris, is a native of Oakland, California and grew up listening to such diverse musicians as the Isley Brothers, Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix and Van Halen before taking up the guitar seriously in 1992 whilst living in Los Angeles.

He spent years honing his talents at jam sessions in the local blues clubs and made his debut album in 1998 for Southside Records, a company he formed with guitarist and math teacher Jerry Rosen. He has kept at it since then, working from the admirable premise that originality and unpredictability are the basic tenets of the real blues.

Slim can be reasonably traditional -- a glance at song titles such as "Ride With Me," "Sunset and Vine," and "V-8 Ford" seems to suggest that. This opinion is solidly backed up by the likes of the funky "Feelin' Pain" with its guitar work between Albert King and Johnny 'Guitar' Watson or the broomdusting intro to "Last Man Standing." He can play the hell out of his guitar in best blues-rock fashion as on "Fire and Ice (The Smoking Gun)," an instrumental bookended by a speech from George Bush revealing a politically committed artist!

However, totally unorthodox but completely within the blues convention of taking from the popular music around it is Slim's tendency to insert (successfully) raps into his songs and occasionally a mean hip-hop attitude. Just remember that back in the sixties, many tracks now regarded as classics were derided for their discernible contemporary soul influences.

Nice to record that there's a sense of humour too: blues fans might note "Interview with Slim" and expect just that, as per innumerable field recording; the track itself is therefore something of a shock! Hip hop has been around for over twenty years now, so it is hardly surprising that a new generation of bluesmen should be emerging for whom the conventions of the younger music are also second nature.

Yes I am extremely impressed with Slim -- one of the few guys still making truly contemporary blues. Rating 9 (out of 10).


Pipeline
Pipeline: the Rock Instrumental Review Magazine
United Kingdom

January 2005 issue #66
SOUTH SIDE SLIM
Trouble On The South Side

South Side Slim is a young singer and guitarist from Los Angeles working in and beyond the blues idiom on Trouble on the South Side. There are two instrumentals: Ride with Me has fancy Spanish styled guitar over a cool R'n'B groove and is an excellent item. Even better is Fire and Ice (The Smoking gun), a Hendrix-ish soundscape of the horrors of war book-ended by words from George Bush.


Blues & Rhythm
Blues & Rhythm
United Kingdom

November, 2004
SOUTH SIDE SLIM
Trouble On The South Side
--Mike Stephenson

This young African-American singer and guitarist has done some good work in the past. This relates to him having his own label, South Side Records, and having recorded Mary Dukes, Smokey Wilson, Curtis Tillman and others. He has also had his own releases on the label, which have been received favourably by the blues press. The South Side mentioned in the title to this CD, his record label and his stage name refers to South Central Los Angeles and not the south side of Chicago. Los Angeles is where South Side Slim, real name Henry Harris, lives.

He is an artist who at times adopts the 'wall of sound' effect to get his message across. His near off key voice and his near off key guitar work can be an acquired taste, but they have a quality about them, that's for sure. Think of a manic version of Melvin Taylor, out of Chicago, as some form of marker for this artist's artistic style.

He is supported by a strong six-piece band and the sax playing of Joseph Lock and the keyboard work from Norman Weatherly are very good to listen to, and complement Slim's fiery style well.

The opening number, Blue Rain, has Slim in blue mood with some jazz-like tones coming from his guitar, and it lulls you into a false sense of what is about to be heard. The heavy onslaught of sound comes thick and fast from that point. V-8 Ford is a good tale of Slim getting into trouble for getting it on with a sixteen year old.

Last Man Standing pounds and crashes along, with his guitar work tending to overpower the song. He gets mean and dirty sounding on Hell Hounds on my Trail. His guitar work on this one has you either looking for shelter from the torrents of notes or thinking he's the best thing since Hendrix.

The instrumental Fire and Ice (The Smoking Gun) is set to a boogie rhythm. Slim proceeds to play some wild sounding guitar with what sounds like full use of the whammy bar to get a fire and brimstone effect that seems to have a lot of rage attached to it.

There is evidence that Slim can relax and divert from the slash and burn approach. The Santana-like Latin rhythms of Ride with Me, heard in two versions, one being instrumental, is a cracker and his acoustic guitar work is a marvel.

I reckon this young fella has a promising future. He sounds full of attitude, the type of thing that helped Buddy Guy's career in its early days. South Side Slim has something original to say, both in his music and in his lyrics to his songs on this set, all of which belong to him.

Slim needs to break out of his West coast stronghold and show off his talents to the wider world. I could see him becoming big. There's something special about him, although he won't appeal to everyone.


Guitar Player Magazine
Canadian Guitar Player Magazine
Blues album review

Artist: SouthSide Slim
CD:"Raising Hell"
Label: Southside Records (LosAngeles)
By Mark Grove

When people talk of blues clinics I think they were talking about SouthSide Records Southside Slim who is still an infant in the world of blues giants but has come into his own as a blues artist and forged his own statement on the blues. The album"Raising Hell" is a good example of where an up and coming blues artist should be heading toward:and that is to a blues artist that is able to progressively top what they did in an earlier release and still be able to do covers and originals their own way. The South Central LosAngeles and California blues scene is blessed to have Southside Slim and company come out with such an innovative blues release.

Backed on this session is Little Milton Bass Player Chris Jones. Along with the likes of Hollis Gilmore and Deacon Jones on Sax and the Organ. As well, producer and drummer on this album is Scott Matthews. Slim co -produces on Raising Hell and is the primary song arranger and writer.

This is an album that goes beyond the blues norm and takes you somwhere few bluesmen dare to go and that's blowing beyond genre boundaries. First of all "Almost Daylight" is a track that definitely goes beyond genre limits with very intricate and precise blues chording by Slim that takes you farther into blues and roots based electric guitar that has a definite latin based tinge. Slim's guitar chord weaving is slow and he emeshes you in his guitar spell.

The title track "Raising Hell"is a grinding Blues/rock number with a solid bass line that sometimes make you think the bass is leading the blues charge. "You can never Tell"shows Slim's definite technical wizardry and ability to be a speed demon but still able to give us his blues guitar acumen. This song also has an R&B feel to some degree. "8 O'clock in the morning" is another roots based and jazz related number that has more of a progressive feel which would make a solid single on radio along with "Blues for Sure" that has roots but rock like phrasing that's always in the pocket thanks to the solid bass playing of Chris Jones.

But what impresses me believe it or not is the imperfections which is what the blues life is about and that's no one's perfect. At one point in "Blues for Sure" Slim's vocals don't quite mesh with his abstract guitar playing and a slight note mistake is had but Slim recovers from it very well and actual makes it flow nicely into the next phrase which impresses me and Slim is definitely a progressive bluesman and guitarist headed for big things."Comin to your House"shows slim's Mastery of going back and forth between a slow blues feel and the fact his playing in this tune has a bright country feel to it as well. "Young Man"heads back to slim's ability to combine Jazz into his repetoire. This is a song where the sax shines.

"Roadblock" is an early 70's blues number that just drives and mixes Slim's ability to mix his Rock voicings and blues guitar stylings and come out with smooth guitar riffing that just floors you. "Roadblock" is a fun tune and makes a great blues jam tune perfect for any blues artist's repetoire."Big money"Is a jazz like song with surprisingly a jump blues feel."Kitchen floor' has a walking bass line with a 60's rock chord structure and a cutting Sax mixture.

South Side Slim is a blues artist who knows how to take blues artists and fans to a whole new level and wonder why they stuck to the same old artists and buying their albums when they could be listening and watching someone like South Side Slim who consistenly innovates his chord arrangements and takes you on a musical journey.

Thanks to Jerry Rosen at Southside Records and Henry Harris otherwise known as SouthSide Slim. Thanks guys.


Concerto
Austria

November, 2004
SOUTH SIDE SLIM
Trouble On The South Side
--Dietmar Hoscher

This is the new studio CD from the Los Angeles Weekly's Music Award winner for Best Contemporary Blues/R&B Artist 2004. Oakland native Henry Harris, aka South Side Slim, delivers a mixture from traditional blues, R&B, funk and rap to soul. Slim´s soul isn't very far from Prince´s (nor is his outfit).

The album starts with the funk and soul of Blue Rain accompanied by Joseph Lock´s saxophone. After that the sound drifts into harder parts of town before Funky Chicken combines well known blues parts with some rap.

South Side Slim's vocals are as unique as his guitar playing. The vocals are clear and in some cases in form of accentuated speech songs whereas the guitar is distorted with influences from Jimi Hendrix to Texas blues and speed of lightning. The concept is also in good shape with slow songs like Guilty Mind.

South Side Slim comes with a brilliant social awareness in Fire And Ice, a song against the war in Iraq which is "opened" by a statement of George Bush himself speaking about alleged weapons of mass destruction. A hard edged, nearly brutal instrumental track fits the subject well.

The song is followed by a rap-funk-blues Interview with Slim that's almost atonal. Reminisin' impresses with soul blues, keyboards and horns.

Ride With Me brings in some Latin flair. South Side Slim wins over with excellent playing on the acoustic guitar on this track. The final cut, the release's title song, is again deeply rooted in soul.

South Side Slim's CD is anything but the slightest way conventional!


Rootstime
Rootstime
Belgium

November, 2004
SOUTH SIDE SLIM
Trouble On The South Side

Since the Pocono Blues Festival in 2002 South Side Slim (AKA Henry Harris) has been a part of the blues-rock circuit. This guitarist is regular "on tour" in America and proves with his fifth album in six years, Trouble on the South Side, that he stands at the top of the new modern guitarists.

In the beginning of this year he released the live CD Live at the Alley. This CD was the first recording for Manifest Promotion and makes a deep impression.

With his knowledge of modern blues South Side Slim brings in its characteristic style of full sizzling guitar solos. Trouble on the South Side contains all original compositions. Slim experiments with new sounds and influences and brings in his own "blues mind." It is a disc on which Slim wants us to hear many facets of the blues.

The slow blues of the three numbers Hell Hounds on my Trail, Guilty Mind and Feeling Pain have the classic blues sound. V-8 Ford has frequent rock riffs. The feelings of the blues of 60 years ago are present in Last Man Standing. In the acoustic Ride with Me, Slim goes against expectations.

Slim's unique sound permeates Trouble on the South Side--guitar playing as good as gold and his soulful voice. Nothing more, but also nothing less.

The tone and the sound of Trouble on the South Side is dynamic as we expect from South Side Slim. It is in the line of Raising Hell, another of South Side Slim's strong CD's.


Soul Bag
Soul Bag
France

December, 2004
SOUTH SIDE SLIM
Trouble On The South Side
--Eric Doidy

Surely South Side Slim deserves to be known: an original larger-than-life character, he's one of the rare representatives of modern blues from Los Angeles.

He assiduously releases fine self-produced CD's (this one is the fourth), which distinguish themselves by their originality from the endless stream of similar productions.

His blues style is inherited from Smokey Wilson (with whom Slim has recorded) but also from Hendrix and George Clinton: his guitar playing, which possesses a forceful lead-in, is funky, cutting edge, and derived from an all-black culture. He is also very unique, and in this respect will astonish the usual followers of blues rock.

All cuts on this CD, be they blues-inspired, blues-rock, or even soul, are personal compositions--including Hell Hounds on My Trail--an appreciable and rare feat. Interview with Slim, whose keyboard parts groove and with an intense guitar that spins, is very successful rap.

Will Slim find a producer who is qualified to channel his passions and extremes? In the meantime, we'd love to see him on stage in France.


South Side Slim - Raising Hell (Manifest)

David Blue, October 2006

South Side glares at you from the cover of the album like he means business and the opening track, Blues For Sure, confirms this. Vibrant and vigorous, it covers the youth in his voice and highlights the talent in one of the currently least known of the current crop of young guitar whiz kids. Roadblock is a funky blues that has a real attitude with shades of Prince and James Brown. This is followed up with more funky blues in the shape of 8 O'clock In The Morning. This has an eerie guitar feeling and will leave you asking the question, can South Side only play at top speed? Young Man is a more traditional, jazzy blues and the introduction of saxophone is welcome. South Side shows two sides of himself on the sophisticated blues of Comin' To Your House and the strong and moody blues of Almost Daylight.

Raisin' Hell is, as the title suggests, a rocking blues that allows Slim to let loose on guitar and boy, does he do just that. There's a return to the funky blues style for Another Lonely Night and this just serves to confirm how strong a guitar player he is. He can do the traditional as well and You Never Can Tell is about as traditional as he gets. No matter what style he is playing there is no doubting his credentials as a top class guitarist. He sticks with the traditional style for Kitchen Floor and serves up what is probably the track of the album. He could be a big name if he produced more of this quality. There's a big finish to the album with two more strong tracks, the fast paced jazzy blues of Big Money and I Wish I Was Blind, a Chicago blues. The latter is the better and suits his voice very well ­ a classy finish to a very good album.


South Side Slim - Trouble On The South Side (Manifest)

David Blue, October 2006

Slim is still mean and moody on the cover of Trouble On The South Side but the cover belies the funky and soulful opener, Blue Rain. It's based on the blues theme of having little or no money and there's some gritty sax but not too much of Slim's guitar. The blues arrive in the shape of V8 Ford and Slim's guitar is unleashed. He goes a little over the top perhaps but that's just him and this is his one nod to traditional electric blues on the album. Funky Chicken is, as the title suggests, a funky blues and it has a very cool organ break. The powerful Last Man Standing is played in an Elmore James style and Slim takes it to the extreme. This is followed by another fast paced blues in the shape of Sunset And Vine and Victor G. Purvis turns in a strong performance on bass. Hell Hounds On My Trail is a strong Chicago blues and Slim really hammers his guitar, showing what an aggressive player he is. We stay in Chicago for Guilty Mind but he slows things right down. This is another strong song and Slim has certainly upped his game, both vocally and lyrically. There's a lovely rolling guitar solo that shows he can be gentle too.

Feelin' Pain sees a return to funky blues and marks another strong one off the conveyor belt. They just keep on coming and The Jam gives us guitar overload, not that that's a bad thing! I thought that Fire And Ice (The Smoking Gun)was going to be political but it turns into an accelerated guitar instrumental that's the musical equivalent of a nuclear bomb. Interview With Slim is a novel idea, putting the song in the form of an interview and explains his versions of the blues. Reminisin' is good, old style shuffling soul and there's some Spanish guitar on Ride With Me. This is a bit out of place on this album but it's pleasant enough. The same goes for the instrumental version before Slim finishes with the title track. This gives a chilled out R&B/soul finish and is fine but I do have to admit that I prefer Slim's in-your-face style.

MusicLife Under Pressure

Life Under Pressure evolved from jamming in the studio while the tape was rolling. Slim then gave selected songs, improvised during that session, to top shelf musicians, including Willie McNeil and Norman Weatherly. The result is an accomplished CD that retains the punch of its original conception.

DocumentaryHot Love Documentary

Hot Love On Me So Strong THE BLUES OF SOUTH L.A. is a video documentary about the Blues scene in South Los Angeles, featuring featuring the juke joints and the musicians who jam there. Visit the Hot Love Documentary page on KariFretham.com for more information.

SlimographySlimography

Henry Harris grew up in Oakland in the 70's and early 80's listening to a wide range of innumerable musicians, including Hendrix, Muddy Waters, Van Halen, and the Isley Brothers. He spent his mid-20's hanging out in Hollywood. During his Hollywood years he fortuitously met up with the great LA blues guitarist Ray Bailey.

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