This is the first album by California blues artist Franck Goldwasser, formerly known as Paris Slim. The album was originally released in 1989 as a vinyl LP on the Belgian record label Blue Sting. It features some of the Bay Area's most prestigious players of the time, including members of the Robert Cray Band and the Etta James band. "Blues For
This is the first album by California blues artist Franck Goldwasser, formerly known as Paris Slim. The album was originally released in 1989 as a vinyl LP on the Belgian record label Blue Sting. It features some of the Bay Area's most prestigious players of the time, including members of the Robert Cray Band and the Etta James band. "Blues For Esther" was nominated in 1990 for a W.C. Handy award (now called the Blues Music Awards). Franck Goldwasser's first single for the Backtrack label, released in 1985, is included in this album.
Original liner notes by Lee Hildebrand:
While attending art school in Paris, Frank Goldwasser spent most or his time painting life-sized portraits of American bluesmen. Since his move to Oakland six years ago, he now devotes his energies to living and playing the blues.
Paris Slim, as Goldwasser is known professionally, has become a vital contributor to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area's music scene. With his own band, as well as backing some of the genre's giants, he has emerged as a first-rate practitioner of the biting West Coast blues guitar style associated with such legends as T-Bone Walker, Lowell Fulson, Poe Wee Crayton and Lafayette “Thing” Thomas.
Born on January 6, 1960, Slim was inspired by the Beatles to take up guitar at age 15 and studied briefly with internationally known iingerpicking virtuoso Marcel Dadi. Slim then came across an album called "Natural Boogie" by Chicago bluesman Hound Dog Taylor. “That was it, ' he recalls. Slim’s father. a manufacturer of fine men's clothing may not have cared tor his son's new wardrobe - ’50’s vintage pin-striped suits - but was supportive of his new musical passion and even bought him a T-Bone Walker album. ln 1980. while Slim was in art school, Oakland bluesman Sonny Rhodes came through Paris. The two jammed together and Rhodes invited his friend to come to Oakland. After one visit, Slim returned to settle there permanently. He landed a job in Troyce Key's band at Eli's Mile High Club, then led the house band while Key took a nine-month break from performing. Among the blues singers Slim backed at Eli's were Rhodes, Jimmy McCracklin, Lowell Fulson, Percy Mayfield, Pee Wee Crayton and Big Mama Thornton. Stints as a sideman with Charlie Musselwhite, Sunnyland Slim, Mitch Woods. and McCracklin followed. For the past two and a half years, Slim has been leading the popular Blue Monday Party Band at Larry Blake's in Berkeley, having taken over tor Tim Kaihatsu when he lelt to join Robert Cray. Among the artists he has featured with the band are Elvin Bishop, Luther Tucker, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Norton Buffalo. Nick Gravenites, Linda Tillery. Mark Hummel, Cool Papa, Earl “Good Rockin'” Brown, Brenda Boykin and Ron Thompson.
Leading his own band, Slim has appeared at many other Bay Area Clubs, as well as at the 1986 San Francisco Blues Festival. His repertoire, consisting of many fine, yet
obscure tunes, is the most consistently interesting of any blues performer in the area.
For his debut album. Slim has pulled together a stellar cast of supporting musicians and selected some outstanding songs. Of special historical note is “Blue Shadows,” a number originally recorded by Lowell Fulson for the Swingtime label. Earl Brown, the stylistic link between Louis Jordan and Hank Crawlord, was the alto saxophonist on the Fulson session and appears here, his searing sound undiminished by the three decades between.
From the opening shuttle strains of Robert Nighthawk's “Someday” through the intense "Tribute to Lowell” (actually a reworking of Fulson’s classic instrumental, “Guitar Shuttle”) that closes Blues for Esther, Paris Slim's album olfers positive proof of why Soul Bag magazine editor Jacques Perin. on a recent trip to Oakland. called him “one
of the most accomplished and inspired guitarists on today's California scene.”