Slim Pickens & Dr. Baz - Australian Blues Music

Cajun Cowboy Blues from Australia

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"Blues Times" Review: 'Cactus'

'Cactus' CD Review from "The Blues Times"

Slim Pickens & Doctor Baz
Cactus (Independent BAR003)
(11 tracks, playing time 40 minutes)

Slim and Dr Baz hail from up Byron Bay way, and have played the Byron Bluesfest as well as touring Europe and the UK.

It’s Slim Pickens’ first outing since his solo CD, Chicken Soup back in 2001. This time Slim (vocals, guitars, mandolin, bass, percussion) is joined by Doctor Baz on accordion. (Baz is an accomplished guitar and piano player with quite an impressive background in musical theatre, and directing. The accordion is simply his “weapon of choice” for this collaboration with Slim.)

The album includes tracks by older bluesmen such as Blind Blake, Leadbelly, Charlie Patton, and Willie Dixon, as well as numbers by newer players like Guy Davis, Ben Harper, and Keb Mo. The old-timey Big Rock Candy Mountain gets a run, and 2 originals, one by Slim, one by Baz, round out the playlist.

Slim’s song, Who Cares, is a nice little “woe is me” song with clever lyrics, and it made No.1 on the blues charts of the popular American website,

There’s no guitar pyrotechnics, or mind-boggling solos, just good, solid playing and easy-on-the-ear vocals. The accordion and generous lashings of mandolin lend the CD a distinct “country-ish” feel, although the Dr Baz penned Last Tango in Bangalow could take it off into the “world music” genre.

While this CD won’t fall into the “must have” category for all blues fans, it would be a nice addition to your collection if you’re after a pleasant, easy-to-listen to collection of country blues and old-timey songs, played with a distinct country/Cajun feel. In fact, if I were sitting on a pub verandah on a lazy Sunday arvo, with a steak under my belt and a cold drink in hand, this is the sort of music I’d like to hear.

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