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Slim Harpo: Tip on In

Album Notes

During the last few years of the '60s (which, as it turned out, were the last few years of his life), Harpo's records took a turn for the slightly more commercial, although they retained a great deal of continuity with his early work. This has 25 tracks recorded between 1967 and 1969, and while it's not quite as good as his prime stuff, it's pretty respectable, retaining his trademark vibrato-laden guitar, relaxed nasal vocals, and shaky harmonica. At this point he had terminated his relationship with longtime producer Jay Miller; rock and soul influences, and even occasional brass and lyrical references to the counterculture, update his sound slightly. But only slightly -- although he milks his "Baby Don't You Scratch My Back" riff over and over, the groove is so consistently solid that it makes for listening that's more comfortably dependable than unduly repetitious. Highlighted by the modest R&B hits "Tip on In" and "Te-Ni-Nee-Ni-Nu," as well as one of his best originals, "I'm Gonna Keep What I've Got." ~ Richie Unterberger


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