Escape from the Chicken Coop

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Escape from the Chicken Coop is a departure of sorts for Watermelon Slim (Bill Homans), with Slim working with musicians outside of his band, the Workers, and taking a more country direction, although that doesn't mean he's become a hat act and is spewing clever clichés over slick production with an eye on Nashville. An album of truck driving songs (it's dedicated to Dave Dudley, whose version of "Six Days on the Road" is the truck driving anthem of all time), Escape from the Chicken Coop isn't really all that different than Slim's previous albums, and while the blues elements may be muted a bit here, this set isn't a radical departure in form. Maybe that's because, at ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Escape from the Chicken Coop is a departure of sorts for Watermelon Slim (Bill Homans), with Slim working with musicians outside of his band, the Workers, and taking a more country direction, although that doesn't mean he's become a hat act and is spewing clever clichés over slick production with an eye on Nashville. An album of truck driving songs (it's dedicated to Dave Dudley, whose version of "Six Days on the Road" is the truck driving anthem of all time), Escape from the Chicken Coop isn't really all that different than Slim's previous albums, and while the blues elements may be muted a bit here, this set isn't a radical departure in form. Maybe that's because, at the root, the difference between blues and country is really a matter of approach -- the themes in both genres have always been basically the same. And Slim knows a thing or two about truck driving. He supported his family for years driving trucks -- as a card-carrying MENSA member, he had to be one of the smartest drivers out there on the road -- and he would write and sing songs to himself to pass the time on long hauls. So the songs collected here aren't some fancy imagined facsimiles of the truck driving musical genre, they're the real deal. That said, these sides still have that wonderfully loose, ragged, and wry blues feel that Slim has always done so well, and Escape from the Chicken Coop fits right in with his previous recorded work -- it isn't a departure so much as a refinement. Among the highlights here are the gorgeous "Should I Have Done More," the traditional-sounding "300 Miles," and a striking re-imagining of Roy Acuff's classic "Wreck on the Highway." Slim's many fans won't be disappointed by this release. It's still a blues album, really, at least the way Slim marks out the territory. It's also affirming, joyous, and appropriately somber by turns, giving a fresh new meaning to the term "country blues."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/4/2009
  • Label: Northern Blues
  • UPC: 809509005420
  • Catalog Number: 54
  • Sales rank: 252,303

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Watermelon Slim Primary Artist
Verlon Thompson Vocal Harmony
Charlie Chadwick Upright Bass
Stuart Duncan Fiddle
Paul Franklin Steel Guitar
Kenny Greenberg Electric Guitar
Kenny Malone Drums
Kevin McKendree Piano, Keyboards, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer, Piano (Grand)
Gary Nicholson Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Guitar (Resonator)
Darrell Scott Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin
Miles Wilkinson Vocal Harmony
Lynn Williams Drums
Rob McNeely Electric Guitar
Steven Mackey Electric Bass
Suzi Ragsdale Vocal Harmony
Technical Credits
Sonny Throckmorton Composer
Miles Wilkinson Producer, Engineer, Mastering
Michael Wrycraft Art Direction
Matt Andrews Engineer
Chris Hardwick Management
Gordon Hammond Engineer
Fred Litun Liner Notes
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