Blue Heart (Underworld Records, June 2013)

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"The first four bars of opening track “Wash My Hands,” announce the return of Too Slim and the Taildraggers with a muscular one, two, three punch of gritty guitar, snapping snare drum and thundering bass. Recorded in his new home of Nashville, Blue Heart is the follow-up to Shiver; the 2012 Blues Music Association nominated Blues Rock Album of the Year and his much lauded solo album Broken Halo. The eleven song collection produced by Tom Hambridge feature his skills on both sides of the glass, as he does great work in the drum chair and at the mixing desk, showing us exactly why he is in high demand. The other guest musicians include Reese Wynans (Stevie Ray Vaughn) on B3, Jimmy Hall (Wet Willie) vocals and harmonica, Rob McNelley (guitar), and Tommy MacDonald (bass). The nine new compositions from Langford show off his formidable songwriting skills alongside his already well known guitar work on this his twelfth studio album.

Standouts among the southern fried roots and blues are the swampy shuffle of the title track, the rock redemption of “When Whiskey Was My Friend,” and the fore mentioned “Wash My Hands,” with its infectious riff. Langford hands over the vocals reigns to Jimmy Hall who shines on the soul ballad “Good To See You Smile Again,” trading sweet guitar leads with him while Reese Wynans lays down the classic Hammond organ that he is famous for. A Too Slim record wouldn’t be complete without a slide guitar feature and so for this one he chose “Preacher,” from fellow bottleneck man Ross Simmons, adding a hundred watts of power to this tale of fire and brimstone. After all the rocking out Langford ends the album with the acoustic based, world music infused “Angels Are Back,” hinting that he may have even more up his sleeve; only time will tell."

Rick J. Bowen, No Depression
"Following on from last year's much acclaimed Shiver, Tim "Too Slim" Langford, master songwriter, guitarist, slide player, and singer is back. Look out, he is back big time with an album bursting at the seams with a who's who of the best Nashville has to offer. This album was produced by Tom Hambridge who has just collaborated with RB Stone on his latest offering Loosen Up!. Tim has drawn on the experience of Tom Hambridge (RB Stone, Buddy Guy, George Thorogood and Joe Louis Walker), and current and former members of Delbert McClinton's band for good measure.

With so much talent added to The Taildraggers one could be excused for thinking that this would be a hindrance, but wow it not only works but in fact becomes epic with the outstanding phrasing and interpretations of Langford's songs. By now, you are asking just who makes up Tim's amazing band The Taildraggers, very remiss not to put a spotlight on Bassist Scott Esbeck (Stone River Boys, Los Straightjackets), Percussionist Jeff "Shakey" Fowlkes(Robert Bradley's Black Water Surprise, Kid Rock and Uncle Kraker) are now the newest members of the trio. The Taildraggers.

Nashville is written all over this Blues/Rock album but that is a great thing because the marriage of "Too Slim" to the sound is perfect. Not only does this album drive it along, Tim shines on the Bluesy ballads "Good To See You Smile Again" (stunning, stunning, stunning with a lovely touch of keys to add to the moodiness), "New Years Blues", "Preacher" (richly enhanced by Tim's slide), and "Angels Are Back." This is a faultless album that has absolutely no filler tracks and as such we can play any track whatsoever knowing our listeners will dig it. "Too Slim" Langford always delivers the goods. Radio Blues fans demand the best so we play the Too Slim and The Taildraggers."

Peter Merrett, PBS 106.7, Melbourne, Australia
"(Tim Langford) might be a hard charging, guitar slinging, blues rocker, but he paid attention to the lyrical skills of the greats and learned his lessons well. With sharper lyrics that you would normally expect from a boogie band, everything about this cat cuts to the chase and cuts to the quick. You can bet guitar slinging fans will come for the licks but stay for the words. A killer high water mark (Blue Heart) in a career that normally feels like a mighty river."
- Chris Spector, Midwest Record

"Blue Heart" is the title track off of Too Slim and the Taildragger’s new record. Jimmy Hall’s voice and harp blowing is smooth and smoky in the same breathe. The blues is not a style of music, it’s an emotion, and these guys have that sentiment in their back pocket.

The equation in this track is all right, the tremolo guitar, overdriven vocal, and that organ sound through a Leslie-drive rhythm guitar...hell yes, that Leslie sound! I dare you to listen to this and not at the very least snap your fingers along, never mind break into a full blown blues seizure. This is the kind of thing I think of when I think Chicago blues joint. It has a nice amount of grit and dirt on the track, but still maintains that velvety smooth blues feel.

Let’s all nod our heads, sip our 2 fingers of bourbon in the smoky bar of life and tip our hats to this band. Good to see the blues is still alive and well."
Red Line Roots Music Blog
"Well you’ve been waiting for something new from Too Slim and the Taildraggers, and here it is!  Blue Heart will rock your head off!  After 11 studio and five live albums, Too Slim still delivers scorching, heart-felt blues and rock, for our more than appreciative ears.  Fresh, new, and hardcore!

Too Slim is really Tim Langford. Originally from Spokane, Washington, but living in Nashville now. With Jimmy Hall playing fabulous harp, Tom Hambridge on drums, and vocals, Rob McNelly on guitar, Tommy McDonald on bass, and Reese Wynans on keyboards; he has a cooking hot, burn your fingers and toes blues band.

Opening up with "Wash My Hands" in the muddy Mississippi to the last cut "Angels Are Back," Too Slim and the Taildraggers deliver a feast for our ears.  With 11 cuts, you will not be disappointed with any of them.  The more I listen to it the better I like it.  I love the tempo of the band.  Nobody gets in the way, and Slim must need a new fret job in his guitar after every gig.  I mean he must have to apply Freon to cool that thing off.  Playing great stuff since 1986, this is an EXCELLENT CD!

Before leaving the Great Northwest, Too Slim garnered several Best Band, Best Guitarist, Best Album, and Readers Poll Awards from the Northwest Media. He’s in Nashville now, and I think he’ll win a few more. Don’t let the summer go by without checking out this one. I’m glad this stuff is still around, and coming out of the Earth to feed us."
Blue Barry, Smoky Mountain Blues Society

"B.B. King said “the blues is a feeling” and Tim “Too Slim” Langford has plumbed the deepest blue depths since 1986. Originally from Spokane, Washington, far from the cotton fields, he built a loyal international following on the strength of 11 studio, four live albums, and two solo albums.

Recently relocated to Nashville, the slashing slide and lead guitarist, ferocious singer and streetwise composer of exceptionally hard hitting lyrics, has out done even his most illustrious previous releases with the scorching Blue Heart.

Nine originals and two covers feature noted producer Tom Hambridge (drums, background vocals), Rob McNelley (guitar), Tommy MacDonald (bass), Reese Wynans (Hammond B-3 organ) and Jimmy Hall (lead vocal, harmonica). “Wash My Hands” roars with a pile-driving riff and keening slide.

Tim Langford combines his total command of the medium with unwavering dedication to his art. Blues this uninhibited, expressive and uplifting are a gift to be treasured and enjoyed for the sheer cathartic exuberance always on tap from a true modern master."
Dave Rubin, 2005 KBA Winner in Journalism
"This is the release I have been waiting for. Just got it yesterday and have been blasting through the new home in South Carolina for every box, chair, guitar, and pot or pan. This is the music of life! Wonderful!"
Chef Jimi Patricola, Blues 411

"If it is possible to be a natural-born guitarist, Langford fits the description."
Rick Allen, Vintage Guitar Magazine

 

"Tim "Too Slim" Langford not only seems reinvigorated, but in 2011 has released one of the finest albums in his extensive catalog."
Hal Horowitz, All Music Guide

"Too Slim (Tim Langford) is not only a master of slide guitar, But he's also a composer of the highest regard. He's penned 12 winners for his latest effort...A supremely talented performer and composer who ranks with the best that blues/rock has to offer."
Graham Clarke, Blues Bytes

"One of the finest original Blues Rock trios performing today...A landmark effort (Shiver)."
Brian Owens, Blues Review Magazine

"Having personally observed Too Slim's career progress over the last 16 years and 13 albums, I feel qualified to pronounce Shiver a Tim Langford masterpiece!"
James Walker, Blues Blast Magazine

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