What people are sayin' about
"Got Big Ears For That"
With Lil’ Howard Yeargan Jr. (accordion, harmonica, keyboards, mandolin, vocals)
and Gabe Wilson (drums)
Slim Bawb is the pioneering purveyor of his own brand of swamp-raised, Cajon-spiced roots music, and on his eleventh album he continues to deliver with style, good humor and grace. This opus consists of nine solidly penned and impeccably performed tunes that will engage and delight down home roots music enthusiasts.
The album cover art depicts an elephant decked out in fancy head dress and ear gear, a bejeweled brow and a Snidely Whiplash-style moustache beneath the trunk. It’s an accurate depiction of oversized ears to illustrate the title, but elephant advocates shouldn’t get too excited. This listener’s medium-sized ears heard no mention of elephants in the proceedings.
The title track opens with a serene squeezebox-enhanced melody, then busts out the gate in an up-tempo charge led by Wilson’s driving drumbeat, where, except for a brief, mid-song breath-catcher, it remains for the duration.
It’s followed by the breezy, front porch soul of “Soon As I Could,” wherein Bawb declares his love and affection for the peaceful, easy life on the pastoral Texas plains. Next up is “Not Today Satan,” steady-rolling blues perfect for a top-down-on-a-2-lane drive in the country.
“Receipts” is signature Slim Bawb swamp funk that’s bound to stir up a butt-shaking frenzy. Lil’ Howard wrote and sings “Baby Daddy,” recalling a past romance with leisurely down-by-the-river pace and style. The deep Louisiana-flavored “Fat Tuesday” opens with party chatter then parlays into a 2nd line celebration of Tuesdays, all of them being Fat to Slim Bawb.
No Slim Bawb record is complete without at least one high-spirited hoe down in the mix, and “Damn Blue Collar Tweekers” more than satisfies the pre-requisite this time around. Then it’s time once again to push back the furniture for the dance-inducing, swamp-funky “Triflin’.”
The set closes with “Last Song,” an earnest and anthemic ode to the ever-present and unavoidable final album track.
This is yet another exemplary set from the multi-talented musician and savvy songwriter. You can’t go wrong with a Slim Bawb record, so while you’re picking up this gem, I suggest that you go ahead and procure the rest of his catalog. You won’t be unentertained.
Bob Pearce, otherwise known as Slim Bawb, draws from many resources in his songs and his
playing style. But it seems that the place he has designated (in his musical mind anyway) to be
is that backwoods part of America where Spanish Moss and Kudzu and crawfish boils are
common place and the people speak in a language that is as different as English is from
How a tall guy like Bob/Bawb (at least 6’5”) ever figured out how to play SO many musical
instruments at the same time is beyond me. And the hardest thing to comprehend is how well
he plays everything he picks up whether it be a mandolin, banjo, pedal steel, guitars not to
mention chain saws, stump grinders and back hose...or is that hoes or even hoze?
If not to prove or at least support my points, take for instance the first song on Bawb’s record
which also happens to be the album title...”Got Big Ears For That”. I grew up in the South, so
that sayin’ isn’t foreign to me but Bawb is a west coast guy who somehow got sucked into the
very powerful offbeat rhythm of the deep south’s euphemisms that run constant thru this and
all of his amazing, culturally defining creations.
All kidding aside, this record has such beautifully entrenched musical heritage stuff on it that
shows up in the first few seconds of the first song and then dives straight for the bottom of the
muddy Mississippi into the depth of that hard core Cajun thang. The pumpin’ mandolin and
tough backbeat drum made me wanna get right up from this computer and dance with my
wife. But I didn’t.
Song two, “Soon As I Could”, confirms my rumor that Bawb hails from the left coast and he
holds no judgement against what he calls “...passing’ time” where he quickly gets to the root
of the matter saying in so many words “I’m not from Texas but got here as soon as I could”.
Keepin’ that backwoods rhythm-and-riffin’ thang going strong in song three, statements are
made extolling the virtues of taking a stand against the devil himself with Slim confidently
saying “Not Today Satin”. Just for the books, it’s possible that Mr. Bawb has very infrequently
been in the presence of situations where Lucifer himself was in the room. But that’s strictly a
rumor with no basis in fact other than I too was in that room.
To digress for a moment, the playing and singing on this record are as good as it’s ever gotten
on any Slim Bawb recording. Done in his studio where his recording expertise over the years
has grown consistently, the sounds of each instrument are pristine which is a lot to say for a
recording featuring such integral rhythms and chord changes not to mention Bawb’s very
unique voice that can sing a harmony to itself without the help of external outboard gear.
I think it’s an early childhood thing that must have happened to a rare number of the children
born on the west coast back in the other century. It’s a mystery still, and shall always remain
one of Bawb’s most inexplicable gifts of nature of which there are many.
“Receipts” brings us once again to Bawb’s songs as he mentions one of the places where he
has spent much time in his life and where he learned many of the tools of his trade both as a
musican and as a person...in bars. His Sacramento band The Beer Dawgs were the
quintessential bar band with the criteria that made some bar bands stand out above the fray;
they were all expert players/singers, the songs were danceable, the beer was always cold and
the girls were always hot. Uh...I think that’s all true. This is the place where I have to mention
the great couple of cats surrounding the tall man...”Lil’ Howard” Howard Yeargan Jr. on harp.,
keys, accordion and vocals and Gabe Wilson behind the kit with that solid gold cowbell which
detractors claim is just gold plated. How three humans can make so much music using only six
hand and six feets beats me.
“Baby Daddy” brings the blues into full focus with yet another tall tale of boys and girls and
what kind of twisted affairs are possible in a lifetime.
Back down to the bayou with that unmistakable tongue-twisting, knee-jerkin’ rhythm that
makes a parson’s daughter wanna git up and show off her legs that go all the way to the floor
when the drum beat draws her in and make her father’s teaching go out the window. Yeah
come on now and push that whodatcrawfish “Fat Tuesday” slinky sideways musical treat into
the light of day.
Uh oh I hear a train comin’ down the line with that “Damn Blue Collar Tweakers” Preach Bawb
proclaims is sidewinder’s whitewash of something the Bible may have put into the soul of the
carpetbaggers who came down south to find the gospel Preacher Bawb sings about when he
plays that banjer and sings that low harmony to the hopeful sinners who are waiting for his
Keith Richards got nothing on Slim Bawb on signature licks. Catch up with what I mean on
“Triflin’ where the funk meets the junk in the trunk of those boys in the band who will tell ya
what ya need to know. Ew yeah yeah yeah!!!!
Some people might wonder why anyone would make a song called “Last Song” the last song
on their album. Well I am here to answer that age old question, and the answer is Slim Bawb
Pearce. He tells about things in his life in ways the other songs on this record don’t, and this
song sounds different from the other songs not only cause it’s
the last song but also cause the statements Bawb makes in this song wrap up the rhythms and
rhymes, the words, the good and bad times heard in all the songs ever written by Slim Bawb.
I’ve known Bob/Bawb since he was 17 in Sacramento California. Back then in the eagerly
’70’s, I was told there was another guy named Bob who wrote great songs and was a strong up
and coming artist in the town where at that time I was riding high in my position of big fish in a
small pond. Sometimes the truth hurts but in this case back then, I was thrilled to meet that
young man who has been a solid friend of mine for well over half a century. For me, this is the
best record Bob Pearce aka Slim Bawb has recorded. He tells his story in every song. These are
stories of his life which he has lived with his music being at the top of his reasons for living
along with other reasons being his family and friends.
My world is filled with wonderful people who live their art and who do their best to give the
world a good look into who they are as people and as artists. Slim Bawb had raised his own bar
with this wonderful record. Thank you for keeping on track Mr. Bob/Bawb. And thank you for
being my old friend. w/love
Jay Vee Music Review by Jeffrey Vallet Louisiana Chronicle
Have you ever heard the terms “Captured Lightning in a bottle”…or “Hit that one out of the
park”? Well… these terms CLEARLY DESCRIBE what this artist has done with this AMAZING
There are 9 INCREDIBLE SONGS on this album. I was impressed by the lyrics and the
presentation of each of the songs. “Not Today Satan” is a song that carries a lot of punch. Says
the artist, “My wife works with recovering alcoholics & one of the women she sponsors used
that phrase a lot. I pretty much quit drinking in 2013 after my grandson was in a car that was
hit by a drunk driver & never recovered, eventually taking his own life a few years later. Hard
driving blues-stomp musically. On “Big Ears For That” the artist says “I heard that phrase from
a friend 30 something years ago”.
We thought folks should use that instead of “I know what you mean” or “I agree with you”.
Hasn’t caught on yet so I decided to write a song about it. Called my Louisiana friend &
sometime songwriting partner Steve Judice for the French translation. I pictured a “Smokey &
The Bandit” kind of story & went from there
“Got Big Ears For That”! And on “Triflin’” the artist states “I was watching an old crime show
on TV & one of the characters used the phrase “Triflin’”. I thought I’d never heard that in a
song before. It means being petty about something. It also gave me an opportunity to put “
got big ears for that” in another song. THIS RECORD HAS ALL THE ELEMENTS OF A TOP NOTCH
RECORD ALL OVER IT! When you put great lyrics with great music…YOU GET A WINNER!