For longtime fans of the blues, Watermelon Slim is a pleasant find. Nominated in 2009 for B.B. King Entertainer of the Year, Bill â€œWatermelon Slimâ€ Homans, originally from Boston, has led the kind of storied life that imbues his music with the feeling of real mojo.
Having soaked up the sound of John Lee Hooker from one of his familyâ€™s housekeepers while living North Carolina, Homans learned to play slide guitar using a Zippo lighter when he was laid up in a hospital bed during the Vietnam War. His day jobs have included forklift operator, trucker, sawmiller, collections agent, and watermelon farmer (the occupation that gave him his stage name). He briefly attended Middlebury College in Vermont in the ’60s and is a longtime social activist who likes to bowl and fish.
His varied life experiences have colored his unique voice and can be felt all across Bull Goose Rooster.Â From the powerful opening track â€œTomorrow Night,” to his slinky renditions of Slim Harpo’s â€œIâ€™m a King Beeâ€ and â€œBaby Scratch My Back,â€ as well as on the amusing anecdotal ditty â€œTrucking Classâ€ and the title cut (inspired by a wild bird that stalks the parking lot of the U.S. Post Office in Key West, Florida), this album marks the work of a mature musician who hasnâ€™t forgotten how to have fun.
Bull Goose Rooster is out now on Northern Blues.