Slim Bawb and Friends offer ‘Hillbilly Fellini’
BY TERRY HAGERTY
The Bastrop Advertiser
“Hillbilly Fellini”, A new album by Cedar Creek’s “Slim Bawb” Pearce has the feel of a late night drive through the Louisiana swamp.
Pearce, who prefers to go by ‘Slim Bawb’, is actually a California transplant, a talented multi- instrumentalist with a deep throaty vocal.
And he brings into a play a range of Bastrop area musicians as well as a guest appearance by Flaco Jimenez on accordion for the second cut of the album, “Barcelona Rain”.
Slim Bawb has been playing regularly around the area with his regular playing partner – drummer James Curry. They have a regular gig at the Water Hole, a popular music venue just a few yards west of the Bastrop/Travis county line.
The duo, with Slim Bawb playing more than a half dozen instruments at various times, puts out quite a sound. (Curry, also a California transplant, once played drums for the 60’s rock group Blue Cheer, known for their blistering version, and a record hit, of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues”.)
But on “Hillbilly Fellini”, Slim Bawb has substantially upped his musical contributors, with talented local and Central Texas area musicians backing him up. They include Bastrop’s Tres Womack, who has his own fine band, Perry Rowe, Josh Drogemueller (an outstanding fiddle player), Charlie Irwin, Kat Kairns, Bo Ely, Justin Kolb, Dave Moats, Rebecca Cannon, Ron Sherrrod and Steve Stizzo, among others.
The album was produced by Billy Black and recorded and mastered by Fred Bouchet at Swamp Studio in Cedar Creek using Roland gear, according to album notes.
The opening number, also titled “Hillbilly Fellini”, has Bawb cranking away on the banjo, talking about “playing down at the Stumble Inn”, and “Ole Roy bangin’ on the skins”. Tres Womack backs Bawb up on the vocals.
Jimenez’s accordion playing is one of the highlights of the second cut, “Barcelona Rain”.
Drogemueller’s fiddle playing on the third cut, “Sophistikuts”, reinforces the notion that he is perhaps one of the best fiddle players in Texas, combining sheer clarity of sound (also evident during regular club performances at Big Mouth) with emotive playing.
If the singing and playing talent of Slim Bawb and his ensembles-which vary from song to song- don’t grab the listener, the tunes’ titles should: Besides the aforementioned title cut, there’s “Black Jack Road”, “Farmers Tan”, “Bourbon Cowboy” with the line, “Some people say I’m down right crazy. . .but I never had no problems finding ladies”, “No Bar Too Far” and a stirring version of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia on my Mind”.
To catch up with Slim Bawb’s playing calendar, see his web site: Slimbawb.com.