sound of electric blues-rock comes alive with a new zing on the latest
venture from guitar rockers Too Slim And The Taildraggers.
With a range of compelling and convincing musical moves on hand, the
12 track Shiver has all the hallmarks of a classic blues-rock
album. Singer / songwriter and guitar slinger Tim Langford receives
solid backup from new group bassist Polly OKeary and
drummer Tommy Cook. Langford has released over a dozen albums
with Too Slim and as a solo artist, and all told, Shiver captures
a stellar performance of guitar laced, blues rock tracks that should
have wide appeal among fans of rock legends such as ZZ Top, The Allman
Brothers, John Fogerty and more. That said, it's hard to imagine that
Langford hails from the Northwest U.S. as youd swear he had
just rolled in off the Mississippi Delta heading straight across Texas
state. Owning up to his Washington roots, Langford does indeed close
out the Shiver album with a track entitled Buceriusthe
album's only instrumental and a track that pays tribute to the instrumental
guitar bands that hailed out of the American Northwest back in the
mwe3.com presents an interview with
TIM TOO SLIM LANGFORD
Hi Tim, where do you live now and can you say something about where
you grew up and what made you decide to become a musician?
TIM LANGFORD: I currently live in Seattle, Washington. Seattle
is a great music city and has such a diverse musical history, I love
the vibe. I grew up in Spokane, which is on the other side of the
state, it was quite a different scene, but Spokane had a lot of great
musicians. I have always been into music since I was very young. I
had a cousin who played guitar and when I was a teenager I started
going to concerts. I saw ZZ Top live and that really inspired me to
want to play. A friend loaned me his acoustic guitar and I never looked
mwe3: Fans are calling your new album with Too Slim And The Taildraggers,
Shiver your masterpiece. Where does the CD find you in your
career and what did you set out to accomplish musically on this new
TL: I am flattered that fans are enjoying the CD so much. I worked
hard on the songs to make them to where I felt good about them. I
really enjoy the song writing part of making a new CD. Its an
awesome feeling when you get positive feedback. I try to make the
songs interesting for the listener and the band. Its very challenging
from album to album to try and raise the bar and make it better than
the one before. Career-wise I strive to become a better songwriter
and performer. Musically I wanted to achieve a blend of all the different
influences I have absorbed over the years, and blur the lines between
blues and rock.
mwe3: Can you say something about the other musicians and guest artists
who recorded the Shiver album with you? Where was the album
recorded and over what period of time were the songs written?
TL: The songs were written over the year prior to the session. I always
make demos of the songs on my home studio and try to fine tune them
and get the arrangements down before I introduce them to the band.
We recorded at Egg studio in Seattle, Washington with Conrad Uno who
is a legendary fellow in the Seattle music scene. Conrad had Popllama
Records in the 90s and recorded bands like the Presidents of
The United States of America and the Fastbacks to name a few. This
is the first time I have recorded in Seattle. I produced Shiver
myself but Conrad Uno was my go to guy when I had doubts. He had a
lot of great input so I really feel he was a co-producer. It was also
the first CD I recorded with my current band, who are very good musicians.
Tommy Cook is the drummer and Polly OKeary is the bass player.
They did a wonderful job and added a great feel to the songs. I did
not start out with the idea to have guest artists on the album. I
met the Texas Horns in Canada at the Ottawa Blues Festival. They sat
in with us and sounded like they had been with the band forever. I
started thinking about horns on some of the songs but did not want
to overdo it. Kaz Kazanoff did the arrangements and I think what he
did was just right and did not overpower the songs. I also had one
song that I really felt needed a great soul voice to sing it and I
thought of Curtis Salgado. He liked the song, agreed to sing and he
just nailed it. His performance on the CD was a complete take from
beginning to end. The same sort of thing happened with Duffy Bishop
on the title track. She just happened to be in Seattle performing
during the recording session, so I gave her a call. I think she was
a perfect fit for the song. My son Austin also played all the lead
guitar on the title track. I brought him with me to the studio on
his birthday and just put him on the spot and handed him the guitar.
He really nailed it, and actually came up with a great hook. Austin
is a very good guitar player and I really want to do a project with
mwe3: Who were your big guitar heroes growing up and which guitar
legends and new bands do you listen to today?
My favorite guitar player growing up was Duane Allman. I was also
heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, John
Fogerty, Santana, Billy Gibbons, Otis Rush, Freddy King and BB King
and Lightning Hopkins. I also enjoy Neil Young and bands ranging from
Black Sabbath and AC/DC to people like Charlie Christian and Pat Metheny.
I like all kinds of music. I still listen to all these artists today.
Some of my newer favorite bands are James McMurtry and Drive By Truckers.
mwe3: Which guitars did you record the Shiver album with and
what amps, picks and strings do you use mostly? How many guitars do
you own and what are some of your other favorite guitars?
TL: I used as many of my guitars as I could on Shiver. My favorite
recording guitar is my Les Paul Supreme. It has a very special tone.
I also used a Les Paul smartwood guitar that I have and a Gibson ES
295, a 1981 gold Stratocaster, a Warmoth Strat, a Warmoth Les Paulocaster,
a Reverend Volcano Flying V, a Reverend Warhawk, a Carvin California
special and a custom dobro that my wife Nancy had built for me. I
own about 20 guitars if I am remembering correctly. As far as amps
are concerned, I used my Mesa Boogie 5/50 express exclusively on the
recording of Shiver. That amp has a huge range of guitar tones
that you can squeeze out of it. I also own a late 60s Fender
Super Reverb, a Fender Bassman, a Fender Blues Junior, a Reverend
40/60 Hellhound and a Line 6. For effects, I used a T.C. Electronics
Nova System. I have an endorsement with Elixir guitar strings, which
are awesome and last forever!! I use Armor gold guitar cables and
I use the green Tortex picks.
mwe3: How many albums youve recorded and released with Too Slim
& The Taildraggers and as a solo artist and how would you say
the body of work reflects your career and musical evolution? When
did you start recording and are all the Too Slim And The Taildraggers
albums in print. Im curious what would a Too Slim / Tim Langford
CD box set or career retrospective look like?
I have done ten studio albums as Too Slim And The Taildraggers, four
live albums, two solo and one compilation. The first Too Slim And
The Taildraggers CD was recorded about late 1987-88. I feel the recordings
reflect the musical growth and evolution of the band pretty accurately.
The early recordings are all very raw and recorded on low budgets
and done live with a just a few overdubs. We got a little bigger budget
on about the fourth album. About that time I felt more comfortable
in the studio and started using the studio more as a tool. I feel
its a natural progression to use the studio in a more creative
way once you have been in there a time or two. I certainly dont
want to make the same record over and over again. The CDs are all
available in a digital format. All the studio albums are available
on CD as well. Some of the live CDs are out of print in a CD format,
but Im not saying they might not be reissued someday. I am not
ready to think about the box set yet because I feel there is more
mwe3: How would you compare working live to recording in the studio?
Which do you prefer and have you released DVDs of your band?
I love to play live! I also love the studio, but for very different
reasons. I prefer the live shows from a performance standpoint. I
like the spontaneous feel of performing for the crowd. I feel that
you have to play your best every night. You are only as good as your
last show in the publics eye, so if you want to get new fans
you give it your all. I like the creative part of the studio. You
can experiment and develop new sounds. Its always fun to take
the things you do in the studio and try to pull it off live. It can
be especially challenging in a trio format. There are no Too Slim
And The Taildraggers DVDs out yet but Id love to do one if it
was done the right way.
mwe3: The Shiver CD closes out with an instrumental track that
shows another side of your recorded sound. I heard that it evokes
memories of the guitar bands that came out of your Washington state
hometown. Your instrumental sound is great. How many instrumentals
have you recorded over the years and what are some of your favorite
instrumental guitar bands, songs and albums?
TL: Almost all of the Too Slim & The Taildraggers studio albums
contain at least one instrumental. I love guitar instrumental music
and the Northwest had bands like The Sonics and The Wailers and The
Ventures. I guess I have absorbed that influence. I also was a Duane
Eddy and Link Wray fan. We have covered both of those artists on some
of our CDs in the past. I could do a whole night of instrumentals
if I had to. It came in handy some times when I would get a sore throat
on the road. The instrumental called Bucerius on Shiver
is the name of a village in Mexico where Nancy and I got married.
The vibe of the song is how I felt when we were there. I guess my
intention was to give the listener that same feeling I had via the
melody of the song. Its really just a love song without lyrics.
I hope I nailed it!
mwe3: How about future plans moving forward into 2012, and how about
live shows and future recordings?
TL: We expect to do lots of live shows in 2012. Shiver
seems to be opening up some new doors. We try to limit the amount
of shows these days to 100-125. Id love to do an acoustic album
this winter for release in 2012. I already have a bunch of new song
ideas so, well probably do a new Too Slim And The Taildraggers
CD next fall to be released in early 2013. Hopefully people will want
Thanks to Tim Too Slim Langford &
Nancy Langford @ www.TooSlim.org