Alabama Slim Gets Set for a Powerful New Release

inTheir Musicon November 5, 2020

Alabama Slim by Gregg Roth

Alabama Slim, a Music Maker partner artist based in New Orleans, has an upcoming album, The Parlor, that takes a rip at President Trump.

Music Maker fans might know a bit already about Little Freddie King, the New Orleans bluesman who has been a Music Maker partner artist since 1997. We helped him when he lost his home during Hurricane Katrina, through his subsequent move to Dallas, and thankfully his return to the Crescent City. Freddie was among the first artists on our sustenance program.

You might not know as much about Freddie’s cousin, Milton Frazier — aka Alabama Slim — but that changes starting today.

On January 29, Cornelius Chapel Records will release Alabama Slim’s new album The Parlor, and its first single, “Forty Jive,” a blazing indictment of President Donald Trump that pronounces, “Now the whole world got the blues.” is already available on streaming services such as Spotify.

Slim, who is also a Music Maker partner artist, proclaims himself mighty pleased with The Parlor. The 81-year-old bluesman created the album — a mix of original songs like “Forty Jive” and iconic blues classics — working with Matt Patton (Drive-By Truckers, Dexateens), Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers, Buddy Guy), and his cousin Little Freddie King, who first introduced him to Tim Duffy and the Music Maker Relief Foundation.

“Slim is a towering man, close to seven feet tall, well spoken and dressed in impeccably tailored suits,” Duffy says.

Slim says he came up with “Forty Jive” in his customary way.

“I sit on the porch. Songs just natural come to me.” Slim says. “People be going through changes, you know.” And not just the changes he condemns in this barn-burner of a new single. The year 2020 was supposed to see him on the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival stage and the release of this album, but the pandemic delayed both.

Still, Slim says, he took great pleasure in the chance to work with cousin Freddie King again on this new album.

“My cousin, he and I been kicking around a few years,” Slim says. “By the time the ’80s rolled around, I was not doing much. but Freddie always checked on me. By the ’90s I got myself together and we have been best of friends ever since, tighter than brothers really. There is not a day that goes by when we do not speak or see each other.”

He shares another aspect of their bond on his original song “The Mighty Flood,” recorded in 2007 with King, in which he tells the story of holing up in New Orleans’ Monteleone Hotel with his wife and calling Freddie to bicycle up just before curfew and the landfall of Hurricane Katrina, In the song, Slim sings movingly about rescuing “my very, very best friend.”

“I told Freddie King, he had fifteen minutes to make it here, and he was there in 10,” Slim recalls. “No doubt in my mind it was going to be hell. People was scared, helicopters were flying, little children were running around crying, water was rising like never before, people didn’t have no place to go.” After losing all of their possessions, Slim and King lived in Dallas for a time until they could get back to New Orleans.

Thacker Mountain Radio, a show broadcast on Alabama and Mississippi Public Radio, as well as stations in Tennessee, has already featured Slim’s new music; and Offbeat Magazine filmed a performance last year during the celebration for Music Maker’s 25th anniversary. You can preorder Alabama Slim’s The Parlor here from Cornelius Chapel Records.


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