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Shrimp City Slim: News

SCS included in new book on Carolina music - July 3, 2008

Thanks to Clair de Lune for the piece "Gary Erwin: Charleston's 'Shrimp City Slim' in the new book "Making Notes" published by Novello Press ( )
John Coltrane, James Brown, Nina Simone, Dizzy Gillespie, et. al. make nice company. Check it out - a fine book!

Shrimp/Wanda dates finalized for Poland/Czech Republic - June 24, 2008

Tour November 13-30 with fifteen shows, backed by local band. I'm in touch with family over there; looking forward to visiting.
Click on "Calendar" for locations.

SCS and Wanda Johnson back to the Upstate (SC) this weekend - June 9, 2008

Please check out the calendar.

RIP Randy Crowe - May 16, 2008

Now we have to say goodbye to another friend, Piedmont bluesman/singer/songwriter/guitarist/harmonicist Randy Crowe (1949-2008) who was the victim of an apparent heart attack while travelling in Costa Rica. Lowcountry blues fans will remember Randy as a founding member of the Lowcountry Blues Society in 1986 and his years of playing acoustic blues in the Charleston area. He released "Tailwind" in 1989 on the Erwin Music label. He is survived by his loving wife of 20 years, Karen Crowe, with whom he travelled the world. Randy was a great guy and a natural talent. What a loss.

SCS in new book on SC jazz & blues - May 2, 2008

"Jazz & Blues Musicians of South Carolina" by Benjamin Franklin will be released in early summer by the University of South Carolina Press. Featured is an interview with Gary Erwin (Shrimp City Slim) along with Dizzy Gillespie, Nappy Brown, Houston Person, and others. Check it out & order (advance) at: (click "New Titles")

SCS/Wanda Johnson's "Hold" praised in Blues Revue - May 1, 2008

Thanks to Thomas Cullen III in the latest BR (June/July 2008, Kenny Neal on cover) who said of "Hold":
"This all-original set is an eclectic blend of New Orleans R&B, soul, jazz, rockabilly, pop, and gospel music...the luminous Wanda Johnson is firmly in control...Erwin's glistening piano is prominent throughout, his fleet-fingered versatility one of the album's charms. He exudes a jazz elegance but can also rumble with Otis Spann thunder..."Hold" is a triumphant low-key gem that's simultaneously tough and tender." Thanks, BR!

"Gone With the Wind" back in stock - April 22, 2008

A new printing of our 1992 CD "Gone With the Wind" has just come in. Available at shows or at

Tim Holek reviews "Hold" in Southwest Blues (Dallas) and Twoj Blues (Poland) - April 16, 2008

"Wanda Johnson may well be on her way to becoming the new voice of soul and blues...Johnson's full potential is yet to come. When it does, she'll be one of the great vocalists of our generation."

"Dropping Names" (from latest Wanda Johnson CD) on shag/beach charts - April 15, 2008

"Dropping Names" now in the Top 20 on the Beach/Shag charts in SE and NE. / "Roadhouse Boogie" chart.

"Hold" (Wanda CD) gets great review in Living Blues - April 2, 2008

Living Blues (#195, just out) gives Wanda/SCS collaboration "Hold What You Got" a glowing review: "The results are stunning...this could well be the album that puts Wanda Johnson on the road to stardom."

"Whad'ya Know?" (Public Radio) this Saturday - April 1, 2008

SCS & Wanda Johnson will be performing one or two songs on Michael Feldman's "Whad'ya Know?" this Saturday April 5, 11 am-1 pm live from Clemson University. The popular nationwide radio program is produced by Wisconsin Public Radio. Consult your local NPR listings.

"Hold What You Got" (Wanda Johnson/Shrimp City Slim collaboration) applauded in Soul Bag (France) - March 24, 2008

Soul Bag, France's venerable blues magazine (since the '70s), has a fabulous review of "Hold What You Got" in their March, 2008 issue #190. They give the CD "Le Pied", which is the highest ranking for any CD reviewed...essentially 5 stars. In the same issue, Soul Bag includes a bonus 13-song CD sampler with "Dropping Names" from "Hold" as track #3.

RIP Calvin "Skeeter" Brandon - March 21, 2008

Our friend and beloved fellow musician Calvin "Skeeter" Brandon passed away yesterday after a lengthy decline in his health. He would have been 60 years old this April 22.

Skeeter's resume included stints with Clarence Carter and The Chi-Lites before he was recruited by the band Highway 61 in 1991 to take the late Walter "Lightnin' Bug" Rhodes' role as bandleader. Skeeter & Highway 61 went on to record numerous albums, tour the world, and become one of the Carolina's top blues & soul exports.

Skeeter also tore the house down on two tracks of SCS's 1994 project "Blues on the Beach" (lead vocal on "Breath of Fresh Air" and organ on "Big Fish, Small Pond"); high points of the album.

Skeeter Brandon was a fine talent who never received the recognition he deserved. He was a sweet guy. We'll really miss him.

His website is
Funeral arrangements are being organized now.

Solo gigs to resume at A Dough Re Mi Pizza - February 27, 2008

Entitled "Blues Piano Madness", SCS returns to his favorite East Cooper watering hole "A Dough Re Mi Pizza" (Mt. Pleasant, SC) for once-a-month blues piano/vocal extravaganzas in the happy hour slot on select Mondays, 6-9 pm. First gig will (appropriately) be St. Patrick's Day -- March 17. See you there!

New SCS YouTube stuff under 'Links" - February 21, 2008

Some duo stuff with Dr. Pickup in France (Jan. 2008) and a clip of Adam Gussow analyzing Chuck "The Cat" Morris' harp work on "Highway 17 Blues". Go to "Links" and click on to watch.

New York screening for "While We Lie Sleeping" - February 3, 2008

"While We Lie Sleeping", filmmaker Monica Sharf's short film tribute to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan - which features Juke Joint Johnny's "Amazing Grace" from the SCS CD 'Gone With the Wind' - will be screened:

Tuesday, February 12, 6 pm on the program "New Filmmakers Go to War" at Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave., NY, NY 10003

New Wanda Johnson CD is in - January 24, 2008

We just took delivery of the new Wanda Johnson CD entitled "Hold What You Got": 14 new originals.
Available momentarily at and at gigs and by mail.

Back home - January 22, 2008

Thanks to everyone involved for a great time in France. Special 'salut' to Bruce, my tour manager and French booking agent, who put together the shows. Check out his activities at
Favorites 'spectacles' included Le Soubock, Le Petit Journal Montparnasse, Paris-Prague Jazz Club (Sophie Kay and Kola, wow & thanks), Cafe Leffe, les deux Renault-Nissan, Le Reveillon Jazz Club, Ville des Impressionistes, and the wild & woody L'Ermitage. No puppets were injured and much wine was enjoyed. And thanks for buying the CDs. The cognac also helped.

See you guys in July...merci & bientot!

French tour winding down - January 16, 2008

Four more dates...Utopia in Paris tonight; tomorrow noon: corporate gig in Lardy and then a cafe gig (duo with Bruce) in Rueil Malmaison. Our final gig will be Centre Tcheque in St Germain on Friday; a really fun gig. La Roseraie concert for Saturday is cancelled. Merci to everyone who has made this tour a good one, especially Bruce, David, and Danny in the Dr. Pickup band.

Off and running in France - January 6, 2008

The first three gigs of the tour were great - really had a good time with Sophie Kay at La Tipica in Paris (10th arrondissement; thanks Orlando and Suzanne). Mucho fun at Le Revillon Jazz Club way out in the country of La Perche (thanks, Bob) and last night with The Bluesmakers at L'Ermitage (nice jam, guys). Hope everyone can come out Wed. to Le Petit Journal. Merci!

New SCS/Wanda Johnson on-line sales - December 30, 2007

We should be up and running on near the end of January.

New SCS/Wanda Johnson album is finished - December 23, 2007

Friday night, we wrapped up the new 14-song CD project for Wanda Johnson.

Entitled "Hold What You Got", the album features some great singing and playing from the SCS band: Silent Eddie Phillips (guitars - PRS, SG, Stratocaster, Telecaster); LaMont Garner (drums & percussion - conga, tambourine, cowbell, shaker, fingersnaps - and harmony vocals); Jerome Griffin (bass, harmony vocals), SCS (keyboard), with Mike "Mr. Big" Kincaid on tenor sax and Juke Joint Johnny appearing on harmonica. Wanda of course sings like a bird. And it's a real mixed bag of material.

We think you will LOVE "Hold What You Got" (slated for release February 8 at the Blues Bash).

Jerome stuck the studio around to sing another new song - "Gabriella" - (accompanied by SCS on acoustic guitar); a simple but heartrending ballad for a friend who has passed on. "Gabriella" will probably appear on the next SCS CD to be released later in 2008.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Going into the studio with Wanda Johnson - November 22, 2007

The SCS band - Silent Eddie Phillips (guitar), LaMont Garner (drums), Jerome Griffin (bass), Mike "Mr. Big" Kincaid (saxes), SCS (keys) - is headed into the studio in mid-December with Wanda Johnson to record her new CD.

The CD, as yet untitled, will offer 14 new originals - 5 songs by Wanda, 1 by her sister Pat Pruitt, and 8 by SCS. The CD will be released at the 2008 Southern Comfort Lowcountry Blues Bash, Feb 8-17, in Charleston.

No puppets will be injured in the making of this new album.

"Roundhouse Blues" this Saturday Nov 10 - November 3, 2007

Savannah, GA, one of our favorite cities, will again host one of our favorite events, "Roundhouse Blues & BBQ" Fri-Sat Nov 9-10 at the Old Railroad Shops, MLK Drive; presented by the Coastal Heritage Society.

This historic rail yard is one of only several locations in the country with a still-working "turntable" for locomotives (train lines run into the yard and the "turntable" is the device by which the locomotives are allocated into their individual barns; you HAVE to see it). BBQ and other great food galore, beer/wine...and BLUES.

Fri Nov 9: The great MAGIC SLIM (aka Morris Holt; one of the last real-deal Mississippi/Chicago barnburners), plus openers.

Sat Nov 10: WANDA JOHNSON & SHRIMP CITY SLIM (SCS; Silent Eddie Phillips; LaMont Garner; Mike "Mr. Big" Kincaid) opening for JOHNNY WINTER. This will be huge. The event begins at 6 pm and our set at 8:15 pm. Mr. Winter takes the stage at 9:30 pm.

All you need to know at BTW: log on and you will hear Chuck "The Cat" Morris' "That Amtrak Train" (remake of Papa Lightfoot's "Mean Old Train") from the SCS CD 'Highway 17'.
See you in Savannah!

Benefit for Stevie Kent Sun Oct 21 - October 16, 2007

The 8th annual Ric Strome Memorial Blues Rumble, Sun Oct 21, 4-8 pm, Bowens Island Restaurant, Charleston, SC, will have a focus this year: drummer extraordinaire Stevie Kent, who has been diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm; a condition requiring immediate and major surgery. $50-60K and no health insurance.

That's Stevie dropping bombs and snare drum-rolling all over "Lowcountry Mama" on our 'Highway 17' album. A great drummer who played with Sea Level (Chuck Leavell), The Jumper Cables, Joe Taylor Jazz Group, Drink Small, etc.

Please make your check payable to Stevie Kent and forward to: Blue Relief Fund, PO Box 13525, Charleston, SC 29422. Call or email if you need more info (see Contact).
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