Chickenbone Slim is the stage name of Larry Teves, a blues musician based in San Diego, and The Big Beat is his second album. He only picked up the guitar in 2011 after many years of playing bass and singing in San Diego bands. He's worked with dozens of musicians, including San Diego blues legend Tomcat Courtney, Big Jon Atkinson and Scottie Blinn, as well as in his own bands, The Boogiemen and Jinxking. He started Chickenbone Slim & the Biscuits in 2013 as a way of strengthening his own vision of the blues. His debut CD in 2016 was nominated as Best Blues Recording in the San Diego Music Awards that year.
Chickenbone's second album was a combination of luck and destiny. He had planned a short tour from his San Diego home to the San Francisco Bay area but found himself with two gigs, four days apart with nothing in-between. As it turned out Kid Andersen was not only off the road from his duties with Rick Estrin & the Nightcats, but had available studio time in his Greaseland Studios in Hayward.
But there was a catch. Chickenbone had several songs, but did he have enough material to make a coherent, full CD of original music? The surprise studio availability had caught him off-guard. Some recent songs had yet to be arranged or rehearsed. He actually wrote one song in the back seat on the road to Northern California and rewrote another, "Man Down," as the minutes ticked off toward the end of his last recording session. The studio work was skillful, and final mastering was completed in July 2017.
Kid Andersen was a key component, handling the recording and mixing controls as well as playing guitar on "Hemi Dodge." Big Jon Atkinson brought his considerable talents to the studio on guitar, bass and, especially, harmonica. Marty Dodson was most critical on drums, using odd-time signatures and vintage grooves to new material, while Scot Smart bolstered his reputation as one of the West Coast's freshest new blues men with solid and nuanced bass playing as well as a guitar solo on "Long Way Down."
Marty's review: with a name like Chickenbone Slim and titles like Vodka and Vicodin and Long Legged Sweet Thing you know you're in for a good ride. With exceptional guitar licks, blazing harmonica and a back beat that is solid, this is rocking blues played with a lot of fun. The production has that raw and down to earth sound with a tightness that shows the dedication and professionalism of all players.