Written by Kyrby Raine
One of the most engaging records I’ve received recently was Mighty Mighty from Southside Cindy & the Slip-Tones, an invigorating blast of R&B, blues, and classic rock. There are times when you hear an album, and you can’t wait to see the artist perform live; if Southside Cindy & the Slip-Tones can generate as much heat and soul on a stage as they do in a studio, look out.
Kyrby Raine: Your band crosses over from blues to classic rock to soul and vintage R&B. It’s quite an intoxicating mixture; how did it come about?
Southside Cindy: I think when we were kids, we all got our feet wet playing blues-based rock covers, but when the six of us all found each other, we vowed we would only always play to our strengths. For example, whenever I would start to write, I could never find enough feeling until I would let it go to the blues. So that was the start of it, but there are only a few blues styles that really have a place for the kind of vocals we like to kick out. So we reached into our love for the the old R&B and found our place in this crossover. Each of The Slip-Tones has such a respect for so many styles that we can’t bring ourselves to only play one at a time so we had to find our way.
Raine: How long have you been producing music? Has it always been with the Slip-Tones?
Cindy: Other than one “pull” record in the late ’80s, it has always been with the Slip-Tones. I remember Jerry Eubanks (of the Marshall Tucker Band) told me about “pull” records back then. He said that everybody makes at least one record that you want to set down on the skeet thrower and then raise your gun and yell “pull!” Great band, and good songs, but production wise, whew! I just didn’t have a clue. Anyway, we’ve done three CDs in the last four years, but we only distribute two, Change from a Penny, and this one, Mighty Mighty. We reserve A Taste of Home Cookin’ to only be purchased at our shows.
Raine: Chicago is famous for its blues. How is the scene nowadays?
Cindy: Incredible, of course. More rootsy and all-original bands more in the city, and then there are tons of cover bars even out in the suburbs. Illinois is huge in the blues. There is even an original blues scene in Peoria and Bloomington, Illinois that is amazing. Robin Crowe and Dave Chastain are legendary; Nick Boetcher is up and coming. Kilborne Alley is all over the charts right now. But, yeah, you can go to these little clubs in central Illinois and see Rob Williams or Russell Miller or someone and just get blown away, but guess I better not start mentioning everybody.
Raine: When did you learn how to sing? Was it always a passion for you?
Cindy: Always, always my number one passion. From being encouraged in the Sunday School at our small church in Brimfield, Illinois. My mom was a great singer and the music teacher at my school. Mostly she encouraged me to learn piano. I guess she knew nobody was going to have to encourage me to sing. Growing up, they probably couldn’t get me to shut up.
Raine: What track on the album is the most personal to you and why?
Cindy: “I’ll See You Again” was the most recent song I wrote. My dad, Charlie Sauerwein, was just the coolest person and truly, really one of a kind. He had terminal lung cancer, and I wanted him to know that I was going to be alright because of what he taught me and gave me growing up. He died August 18th, 2007, soon after the CD came out. Yes, he got to hear it. My strong, incredible mother played it for him while he was well. I know I am so blessed because so many people don’t get a chance to say these things in time. With a little help, I got that chance. At first I thought it was too personal to put on the CD, but decided there are so many people who feel this way, maybe the song has something to give. Then it was Jim Donahue’s (keyboards) idea to start the Sour Wine label in honor of him.
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