The Parlor, the latest release from New Orleans bluesman, Alabama Slim and arrives 29 January 2021. The project is a joint effort between Cornelius Chapel Records and the Music Maker Relief Foundation. The LP was tracked in 2019 at the New Orleans studio the Parlor in a matter of hours with everything captured in a single session. The materials was then turned over to Matt Patton (Drive-By Truckers, the Dexateens) for post-production. Together with Jimbo Mathus, he sequenced the record and added bass, organ and piano with the help of Bronson Tew.
The musician says, “Me and Freddie [Little Freddie King], we have two different styles of the blues, but we can play together, and it sounds good. I first heard it by Muddy Waters. I didn’t do it exactly like him; I changed it around in there. I say, “Rock Me Baby, don’t let me go home,” yeah. I heard that, hell, I don’t know, 16 or 17 years old. [Back then] I was trying to play guitar, but my fingers would get sore. I would soak them at night or put talcum powder. One day I just started playing! I tell you what I do. Weather’s nice, get my acoustic, and sit out on my porch, drink me a Coors Light, and stuff starts coming to me. I can hear a song, and I can change it around so different, do it my way. You do things your own way. It’s good. You try to do it another man’s way; it don’t go. When I do a song, I do it out of experience watching people. I’ve seen a person get mistreated or having a good time, I put it together [in the song].”
One can hear the relaxed, unhurried vibe of the album on “Rock Me Baby”, which demonstrates in part why Alabama Slim has garnered comparisons to John Lee Hooker. This music stays mostly still, allowing the world to move around it and reveal its fullest heart and soul only when the listener becomes one with the music’s masterful simplicity and quiet elegance.