When Watermelon Slim (a/k/a singer/guitarist Bill Homans) howls about riding in the “Devil’s Cadillac,” it’s hard not to imagine that he’s had his own hands on its wheel occasionally. After all, most of his songs are about emotional car crashes, whether he’s lamenting the bad-paper passing of his “Check Writing Woman,” the misery that comes with “Hard Labor,” or his history as a “Bad Sinner.” But this laconic bluesman, who took a bullet in Vietnam and then took another 25 years to record his debut album, is no run-of-the-mill whiner. His lyrics are leavened with a sense of humor that’s buoyed by his baying-hound-dog’s voice and fortified by his raw, whinnying slide guitar. His back-up group the Workers are stalwart, but the disc is apt to peak when it’s just Slim alone, talking to dead presidents in “Folding Money Blues” and making like a moonshine-struck Cajun on “Eau de Bone,” with only his lonely, shimmering guitar for accompaniment. This is Slim’s third album, and it’s likely to elevate this rangy, talented character up from the underground.
Watermelon Slim & the Workers | March 24 | Sit 'N Bull Pub | 163 Main St, Maynard | 978.897.4663