Flytrap Music Hall, Tulsa Ok. – If you were not at the Flytrap Thursday night, then you missed out on some of the best blues music to hit this city when Watermelon Slim and the Workers tore it up for their T-Town fans.
The night started off with opener, the “Dustin Pittsley Band”. This was my first time to see them and I was quite impressed. DPB is from right here in Green Country. On January 23rd, they were crowned Beale Street Blues Kings in a competition where 10 bands were selected by 10 club owners in Memphis. One of the owners was so impressed with the band, he asked DPB to stay and play the 10:00-2:00 slot at his club; they even got paid for it! DPB chose to do a scaled down version of their set with Dustin sitting playing his acoustic guitar (which had a perfect tone) and the drummer, Doug Wehmeyer sitting on what appeared to be an empty wood box that he kept the beat on. They played a lot of just feel good music, along with some really good blues. Jesse Aycock joined them on a couple of songs to fill in some harmonies and did it with style. If you have never seen the Dustin Pittsley Band, I encourage you to check them out. I am looking forward to hearing them with the full band.
Watermelon Slim and the Workers came in during DPB’s set and just stood there in the crowd like adoring fans until their show was done. We learned later that Slim has known Dustin since he was a baby. Every table was full and more people had begun coming in and standing around by the time Slim and the Workers took the stage. I will tell you one thing about Watermelon Slim and the Workers, you don’t go to “hear” the blues, you go to “feel” the blues. The song “Black Water” for instance was written 2 days after Hurricane Katrina hit. The lyrics really hit home with speaking of the loss and turmoil the black water caused. Slim (a.k.a. Bill Homans), sings his songs with such conviction, a couple of times I wanted to jump up and yell “hallelujah!” The blues is more than just good music. It also tells the story of one’s life. Slim is so good at telling his stories that you actually feel like you know him personally by the end of the show. People were dancing across the room; some looked as if they had taken lessons from Elaine Bennes. But you could tell they didn’t mind. They were having a good time and didn’t have a care in the world.
At one point Slim said “If you wanted a meth-head, speed show tonight, you came to wrong place because I am in slow mode”. There is nothing boring about a Watermelon Slim show. From the unique style of the way he plays the slide guitar (he learned how to play in his bed at a Vietnam Hospital, upside-down left-handed), to the haunting sound of the harmonica that grips you at your soul. The Workers are very talented as well and complete the band perfectly. At one point, they played a true Western song, called “Into the Sunset” that my Grandparents would have loved. I have to say that I loved it too. They played fan favorites like “The Ashtray’s Full”,” The Wheel Man” and “Devil’s Cadillac”. If you have never seen Watermelon Slim and the Workers, I suggest picking up some of their cd’s. Once you hear their music, you won’t miss them the next time they play in town.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle