The Story of My Life
Rodney Glenn Armstrong a.k.a. Guitar Slim Jr. is a New Orleans blues guitarist and singer and the son of Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones.
Guitar Slim is best known for his million selling hit single “The Things That I Used to Do”. The elder Slim died in 1959 when he was 32 years old. His son was not yet eight years old. Guitar Slim was an inspiration to Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Earl King, Albert Collins, Lonnie Brooks and Buddy Guy.
Guitar Slim Jr. talked and sang just like his daddy. He was given his first guitar by Huey “Piano” Smith and was nicknamed Guitar Slim Jr. by Earl King. He followed in his father’s footsteps and along with a talented bunch of New Orleans sidemen recorded his own debut album in 1988. “The Story of My Life” was recorded at the Big Easy Studio on Paris Avenue and released on Orleans Records. The following year it was nominated for a Grammy Award as Best Traditional Blues Album.
Guitar Slim Jr. recorded only two more albums. In 1996 he released “Nothing Nice” featuring the Memphis Horns on Warehouse Creek Records. His last album was 2010’s “Brought Up The Hardway” on the ClyDesign Studio imprint. He now lives in Washington D.C. but is still a fixture on the New Orleans scene having last played The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2011.
On April 22, 2017 Orleans Records re-issued “The Story of My Life” on both Vinyl and cd. The band includes Guitar Slim Jr., vocals and guitar; Shannon Powell (from The Preservation Hall Jazz Band) or Kerry Brown (from Guitar Slim Sr’s band), drums; Rene Coman (from Alex Chilton and The Iguanas) or Charles Moore (from Deacon John and The Ivories), bass; Jon Cleary, piano; and Milton Batiste Jr., trumpet. The album was produced by Carlo Ditta.
Seven songs were written by his father Guitar Slim, Sr. including the title track and “Well, I Done Got Over It”, “A Letter to My Girlfriend”, “Bad Luck Blues” and “Sufferin’ Mind”. Both “Turn Back The Hands of Time” and “Can I Change My Mind” were hits for Tyrone Davis; while “Too Weak to Fight” is from Clarence Carter.
This historic re-issue is highly recommended.
By Richard Ludmerer – Making A Scene!
June 6, 2017