Too Slim & the Taildraggers
Thursday, May 8, 2008, Normal, IL
Photos by Susan Walker
Set against the back drop of a college bar in a college town, Tim “Too Slim” Langford refuses to compromise to any setting. Tim himself has been touring incessantly for over 23 years, and with his band the Taildraggers for the last 15 years.
Bloomington-Normal’s Blues Blowtorch Society can be thanked for bringing this underappreciated veteran back to Central Illinois. Tim and Company have been branching out this year in support of their Top Ten Billboard Blues Charting album and Tim’s most personal record to date The Fortune Teller.
Serving up a heaping dose of swamp rock, barrelhouse blues, and American Roots; Tim never let up for the entire two hour set. Tim is a tasteful slide and rootsy guitar player, pulling great riffs that you haven’t heard out of thin air. The sound man had a few kinks to work out with Tim’s vocals in the early going but the guitar was straight forward and the crowd took notice. Later over 50 paying customers could verify, Tim’s sounds was on top. With no flash and no wannabe guitar hero pyrotechnics, Tim’s “Les Paul-ocaster” rocked through many of the tracks from his latest album.
The swampy guitar, almost Creedence Clearwater Revival sounding “Givers and Takers” and “Motherlode” were crowd pleasers. The hard-driving southern rock driven story of “Cowboy Boot” barreled through the room like a low throated Harley Davidson.
The “sappy love ballad to my wife” as Tim called it, “She Gives Me Money” brought dancers and hoots and hollers to the small corner lit stage in the hipster college location. Tim also dug back into his past pulling out an Elmore James cover and a Hawaiian lap steel sounding instrumental. Slim’s double-entendre lyrics on “Oven Burnin’ Woman” gave the crowd a chance to call and respond to Tim, showing his ability to entertain even more.
In the meantime with all these American Roots guitar playing and entertainment, herein lies Tim Langford’s greatest gift; his songwriting. Underwriting the entire night with stories and tall tales, the guy from the forests of Spokane WA plays straight ahead, gutbucket in your face rockin’ blues.
As one of Tim’s songs states, we just can’t get enough of this brown bottle rock!
Ben Cox is a Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist.