Every now and then an emissary arrives to remind us of what we're missing.

Every now and then an emissary arrives to remind us of what we're missing. That would seem to be Magic Slim's role; he's the messenger and Blue Magic is the message. The magic man reminds us, by example, that we're just not hearing as much of that rough-and-tumble South Chicago electric blues as we used to, and, as Magic Slim notes during "Evil Woman Blues," "that ain't right." Elemental Chicago blues is what Slim does, and on Blue Magic he knocks down 10 righteous tunes that confirm his status as one of the masters of the Chicago style. Dig into his muscled-up shuffle numbers "You Got to Pay" and "Lonely for Your Love" and sample the fine groove of "I'm a Bluesman." Popa Chubby produced this excellent project, demonstrating a complete grasp of Magic Slim's vibe in the process.—PVV