Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Slackmasters

The first time that I saw the Slackmasters was at the old Pioneer Square Tavern in Seattle. I had recently moved back to Seattle after a living in Ketchikan, AK for a couple of years. I remember thinking, "Wow, these guys are great, but where in the heck did they come from?"

The Slackmasters at the Monterey Restaurant - Seattle 1983
Left to right: Tom Boyle, John Hodgkin, John Brimm, Nick Morrison, and Tim Sherman

Of course, all of these guys have remained active in the Northwest blues scene long since these photos were taken. Guitarists Tom "T-Boy" Boyle and Tim "Stoop Down" Sherman both played with later versions of saxophonist/harp player/vocalist extrordinaire John Hodgkins' popular bands and also with a couple of versions of my bands over the years. Tom also played with harpist Doug Caulkins' band, and currently plays with Becki Sue & Her Big Rockin' Daddies. Tim fronts his own, all instrumental Tim Sherman Band, and also plays with Harmonica Playboy & the Midnight Movers.

Bassist John Brimm worked with Too Slim & the Taildraggers for several years, and is freelancing now, I believe. Nick Morrison went on to become a DJ and Program Director at the popular jazz and blues radio station KPLU.

Hey, I wonder what happened to that paisley Telecaster that Tim is holding? Thanks to Tom Boyle for providing these photos of the Slackmasters.

Note: The photos in thsi article were created by Sammy Barron.

1 comment:

Tom Boyle said...

The Slackmasters was a launching pad into the Seattle blues scene for not only the band, but for the individual members of The Slackmasters as well. I met John Hodgkin, Tom Brimm and Nick Morrison through a "musicians wanted" ad in The Rocket, the local music magazine at the time. That was one of the only ways for those not already connected with the scene to meet other musicians wanting to form bands. I went to a house where the guys were holding auditions and things seemed to click pretty well so I felt fairly confident that they were gonna offer me the guitar slot in their blues band. John called me later to say that they dug what I was doing but that they had auditioned another guitarist earlier in the week that they really liked, too, and that I should jam with them when the other guy was there. Oh great... I had to prepare myself for a "shredding session"! The other guy turned out to be Tim Sherman... 'nuff said! The guys couldn't decide which one of us they wanted so the ended up with both of us. That turned out to be, at least for me... very, very cool! The band played and partied HARD for about a year... at which time Nick annouced that not only was he quiting the band, but quiting the drums as well. At the end of his final gig with the band at The 4th Ave Tavern in Olympia, Nick set his drums on the dance floor, worked the crowd into a frenzy, and coaxed them into completely demolishing the entire set. That was Nick's "last hurrah" as a drummer. He did go on to a very successful caeer in radio, though. Tom Brimm quit shortly after that to join Too Slim in Spokane, John Hodgkin moved to Spokane as well, and Tim and I were left without a band. We both have managed to survive nicely, though, thank-you-very-much!