It was a sad week for blues fans when Magic Slim, also known as Morris Holt, passed away in a Pennsylvania hospital early Thursday, Feb. 21. He had been hospitalized for several weeks after having health issues while on the road doing opening slots for Johnny Winter. Magic’s son Shawn “Lil’ Slim” Holt was traveling with and performing with Magic and his band, and finished out several more dates on the tour at Winter’s request. See Zoo Bar musician and Holt family friend Josh Hoyer’s remembrance on Slim in this issue of The Reader. A simple Internet search showed the depth of Holt’s influence on blues fans internationally, as articles and tributes appeared from Rolling Stone, the Mayor of Chicago and in articles in various languages. Magic Slim and his family have been residents of Lincoln, Nebr., since 1994. My thoughts and prayers are with the Holt family and the Zoo Bar family during this sad time.
Mercies Kickstart Motel
Omaha’s Travelling Mercies has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund completion of their second studio album, Motel. The Kickstarter description notes “Our second album is an ambitious concept piece lived out in a Southern border town motel. It is by turns lonesome, lost, dirty and defiant…but mostly, it’s really not that pretentious, just a record of great songs.” The goal is $4,000 and in the first 24 hours the project was 24% funded. If you are not familiar with the Kickstarter concept, if the project is not fully funded, the contributors spend nothing. See kickstarter.com and search for Travelling Mercies Motel.
Playing With Fire
In addition to the planned 10th anniversary shows July 12 and 13 on the Lewis & Clark Landing, Playing With Fire has announced a special free Memorial Day concert, Monday, May 27. The event will be held across the river at Council Bluffs’ new River’s Edge Park. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings will return to Playing With Fire for the special event. See playingwithfireomaha.net.
John Primer, longtime guitarist for Magic Slim, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 6, 6 p.m. at Lincoln’s Zoo Bar and Thursday, March 7, 5:30 p.m. at The 21st Saloon. Billy Bacon plays several Zoo Bar shows beginning Thursday, March 7, 6 p.m. See zoobar.com. Memphis harmonica player Brandon Santini is at The 21st Saloon, Thursday, Feb. 28, 5:30 p.m. Dirty River Boys and Matt Cox Band play The Waiting Room Thursday, Feb. 28, after 9 p.m.