The true greats of blues music generated enormous excitement and awe in their audiences. They did so with flamboyant showmanship; with aloof, tough delivery; with elegance and charisma; with passionate virtuosity; with all sorts of styles, but always with original talent and awesome presence.
Whiteboy Slim, (Maurice Richard Libby), carries the blues tradition. His raw, authoritative delivery is obviously born of his respect for the music. He bows to the sounds that have traditionally portrayed American troubles, layering them with World music and today's influences to create genuinely eclectic, genuinely modern music, but undeniably Blues music.
Slim says it best himself: "I stay true to the spirit of the music, walking the tightrope between the spiritual and the profane. I play old tunes by Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf - all the greats - and unusual stuff like some Fats Waller. I do a lot of original tunes as well: twelve bar blues with lyrics that speak to contemporary experience. I'm sure not going to try to write like a sharecropper from Mississippi.”
In a meandering trip from his father's collection of Louis Armstrong records, to Boston's Berklee College of Music, to Toronto bands Dirty Movies and Automatic Slim, to five CDs under his own name, Whiteboy Slim has unabashedly grafted elements of Ska, Reggae, Jazz, Rockabilly, and even Avante Garde jamming to his Blues roots.
Energetic and improvisational, Slim's live shows, with his permanent bassist Dustin Bowyer (who often simultaneously plays drums), and special guests from the ever-expanding “ad Hoc Blues Posse” are never the same, always dancing on the edge. The stage is littered with guitars basses, drums, harmonicas, and whatever other instruments fit in the van on that particular day.
Whiteboy Slim is currently touring to promote the new 24 song double album “Box? What Box?”--his fifth CD, but the first release that shows off his genre-bending proclivities.