Rockin’ The House

Memphis Slim
FORMAT: Audio CD - 2 Disc
Release date: 15 Oct 2012

'This double CD is a beaut. I do hope it will help to re-establish Memphis Slim in his rightful place at the very top of the pantheon of r&b and all black American music' NOW DIG THIS

CD Of The Month - Blues & Rhythm

'An excellent and enjoyable supplement to our understanding of Memphis Slim and compiler Neil Slaven and the Fantastic Voyage label should be congratulated for bringing us this super collection' RED LICK

'This excellent selection of ballads and boogies reveals an entertaining, innovative and influential talent at his best' 8/10 Classic Rock Presents The Blues

CAT No: FVDD151UPC TEXT: 5055311001517

Full details

The Best Of The R&B Years – Dazzling R&B piano pioneer Memphis Slim is the subject of the latest release in Fantastic Voyage’s highly-popular Definitive Collection series of blues sets.

Compiled and annotated by blues authority Neil Slaven, the two discs of Rockin’ The House straddle Slim’s post-war years up until he became one of the foremost figures in the early ’60s folk-blues revival, spotlighting his top-notch R&B band. The 50 tracks take in recordings he made for labels such as Hy-Tone, Miracle, Premium, Mercury, Peacock, United, Vee-Jay, United Artists and Strand, and include all seven of his R&B hits Born John L. Chatman in Memphis in 1915, Slim cut his musical teeth playing anywhere from levee camps to Arkansas roadhouses then Beale Street bars, mentored by Roosevelt Sykes. He arrived in Chicago in 1937, initially bootlegging whiskey, said to have been a pimp, playing piano to pay for his gambling until cutting several singles and hooking up with Big Bill Broonzy in 1940. After World War Two, Slim started leading his R&B band, which, at times, boasted the great bassist-songwriter Willie Dixon and future Blues Brother Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy.

The compilation starts in 1946 with ‘Mistake In Life’, Slim’s first release on the local Hy-Tone label, followed by further tracks for the label including the rollicking ‘Slim’s Boogie’ and trademark melancholic blues template ‘Cheatin’ Around’. He first encountered Willie Dixon recording for the Miracle label, the pair sparking their relationship on the blistering ‘Rockin’ The House’ and sublime ‘Lend Me Your Love’. From here the highlights come thick and fast: hits for Miracle, including chart-topping ‘Messin’ Around’, ‘Blue And Lonesome‘, ‘Help Me Some’, ‘Angel Child’, sonorous Premium release ‘Mother Earth’, ‘The Come Back’ (predating the stop-start groove of ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’), the autobiographical boogie of ‘Harlem Bound’, sax-enhanced outings such as ‘Train Is Comin’’, ‘Worried Life Blues’ (as covered by Keith Richards), lascivious Nick Cave fave ‘Grinder Man Blues’, the steaming vamp of ‘Steppin’ Out’ (later Eric Clapton’s showstopping showcase with John Mayall) and aching ‘Nobody Loves Me’ (the original title by which he first recorded the classic ‘Every Day I Have The Blues’, as made famous by B.B. King). The early 1950s tracks with Murphy’s riveting guitar to the fore are also represented, through to later sessions for Vee-Jay and three tracks from the 1959 Carnegie Hall concert with Muddy Waters which marked the start of the blues’ burgeoning acceptance by white audiences. From levee camps and roadhouses to Beale Street and white clubs, Slim was working his way up and was early in the charge as blues ambassador to Europe, recording several albums there before returning to Chicago to cut an exemplary batch of songs including ‘Lonesome (Blue Blues)’, ‘Four Walls’, ’Big Bertha’ and ’I’ll Keep Singing The Blues’. Based in Paris from 1962 until his death in 1988, he left a voluminous and captivating recorded legacy, of which one of its most fertile and seminal stretches is featured on this stellar set.



  1. Mistake In Life
  2. Slim’s Boogie
  3. Cheatin’ Around
  4. Rockin’ The House
  5. Lend Me Your Love
  6. Harlem Bound
  7. Nobody Loves Me (Every Day I Have The Blues)
  8. Throw This Poor Dog A Bone
  9. Help Me Some
  10. Blue And Lonesome [1949]
  11. Angel Child
  12. Messin’ Around
  13. Frisco Bay
  14. If You Live That Life
  15. Grinder Man Blues
  16. The Girl I Love
  17. Slim’s Blues
  18. I Guess I’m A Fool
  19. Really Got The Blues
  20. Mother Earth
  21. Train Is Comin’
  22. No Mail Blues
  23. Gonna Need My Help Some Day
  24. Sittin’ And Thinkin’
  25. Living Like A King


  1. Only A Fool Has Fun
  2. Living The Life I Love
  3. The Come Back [1953]
  4. Wish Me Well
  5. Little Peace Of Mind
  6. Got To Find My Baby
  7. Four Years Of Torment
  8. Sassy Mae
  9. Blue And Lonesome [1956]
  10. Memphis Slim USA
  11. Treat Me Like I Treat You
  12. Worried Life Blues
  13. This Time I’m Through
  14. Stroll On Little Girl
  15. Boogie Woogie Memphis
  16. Rollin’ And Tumblin’
  17. How Long
  18. The Comeback [1960]
  19. My Gal Keeps Me Crying
  20. Steppin’ Out
  21. Lonesome (Blue Blues)
  22. Cold Blooded Woman
  23. Four Walls
  24. Big Bertha
  25. I’ll Keep On Singing The Blues