Lynwood Slim felt there were only two things he could do to make a living: shoot pool or play harmonica. Thank goodness he chose to be a musician. As a child he played trumpet, but at 15 he picked up the harmonica. Although drawn to listening to Jimmy Reed and Little Walter, he made the career choice after watching Brooklyn Slim and Paul Oscher. His early memorable gigs allowed him to sit in with Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and others. When the southern California scene dried up in the mid-'70s, he packed up and moved to Minneapolis.
Less than a week after coming into town, Slim replaced a band's previous harp player, Kim Wilson, who left for Austin to form the Fabulous Thunderbirds with Jimmy Vaughan. Eventually, he formed the Lynwood Slim Band, working often with Leonard "Baby Doo" Caston, James Smith and Walter Horton. His style of swing blues won him numerous awards bestowed by the Minnesota Music Academy, and he documented musical triumphs with Lost in America, released in 1990; and Soul Feet, released in 1991 and reissued five years later. Slim briefly returned to Los Angeles, where joined Dave Specter and moved to Chicago in 1995. Several years later, family circumstances and the reblossoming of the southern California scene returned Slim home. Besides his presence gracing the live L.A. scene, Slim and producer Jerry Hall have produced European and American artists over the years. In 1998, they set up their own record label, Pacific Blue Recording Company; World Wide Wood followed in 2000. ~ Char Ham
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