Bill "Watermelon Slim" Homans appeared at The Bullfrog Blues Club a while back, and he went down so well we were DETERMINED to get him back! However, it's been difficult to pin down dates, but I'm delighted to tell you he will be appearing at a very special extra Bullfrog Blues gig on Sunday 22nd October in the back function room of The R.M.A. Tavern, 58, Cromwell Road, Eastney. Tickets are restricted to just 60 - so first come first served. This man is a certified genius, and this is a great chance to see him "up close and personal".
Watermelon Slim has built a remarkable reputation with his raw, impassioned intensity. From sizzling slide guitar to nitty-gritty harp blowing to a gruff, resonating Okietwang, Slim delivers acutely personal workingman blues with both hands on the wheel of life, a bottle ofhooch in his pocket, and the Bible on the passenger seat. He's one hell of abottleneck guitarist, and he's got that cry in his voice that only the greatest singers in the genre have hadbefore him.
Watermelon Slim has had 17 Blues Music Award nominations in four years including a record-tying six in both 2007 & 2008. Only the likes of B.B. King,Buddy Guy and Robert Cray have landed six in a year and Slim is the ONLY blues artist in history with twelve in two consecutive years!
Slim was born in Boston and raised in North Carolina listening to the family's housekeeper singing John Lee Hookersongs. Slim enlisted for Vietnam, and whilst laid upin a Vietnam hospital bed he taught himself upside-down left-handed slide guitar on a $5 balsa woodmodel using a triangle pick cut from a rusty coffee can top and his Army issued Zippo lighter as the slide.
Slim first appeared on the music scene with the release of the only known protest record by a veteranduring the Vietnam War. The project was "Merry Airbrakes", a 1973 protest tinged LP with tracks CountryJoe McDonald later covered.
In the following 44 plus years Slim has been a truck driver, a forklift operator, a watermelon farmer in Oklahoma (hence his stagename), a sawmiller (where he lost a partial finger), a firewood salesman, a collection agent, a funeral officiator - and attimes a small time criminal, which forced him to flee Boston where hehad played peace rallies, sit-ins and rabbleroused musically with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, who recently singled out Slim to her audience as a living blues legend during one of her performances.
Somehow Slim has also found time to complete a master'sdegree, start a family, become an artist and joined Mensa, the social networking group reserved for memberswith certified genius IQs.
J.R says "Slim now lives in Clarksdale Mississippi, where he not only plays music but owns a restaurant, which I can personally recommend - I was there last year, where I met up with Slim, and begged him to return to The Bullfrog! Needless to say, I'm making the trip over from Ireland to attend THIS one!!!"