Slim Harpo – “Baby Scratch My Back”

Crawdaddy Features
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This article originally appeared in issue two of Crawdaddy Magazine in Feb. 1966

I’ve been a longtime fan of the down-home, Chicago-style rhythm and blues, which is why I’m so pleased that Slim Harpo (James Moore) is having such incredible pop success with this, his latest single. Slim, best known for “King Bee,” sings and plays mouth harp with a guitarist and drummer behind him. This song is a lazy, erotic blues, featuring a talking vocal and a lot of solo harmonica. The harp is extremely expressive, like he’s playing it straight and telling us what he really means at the same time. When Slim sings, he is holding a conversation with his sidemen, who answer with an extremely amusing, nicely done solo on the bass and an appreciative clucking sound from the drums.

The flip of “Scratch My Back” is an easygoing, Mose Allison-style vocal called “I’m Going to Miss You (Like the Devil).” Both sides of this single show that Slim is still a fine bluesman with a good down-home approach to his stuff. The fact that this record is selling like mad in pop music markets all over the country is somewhat surprising to me, but extremely satisfying.