Armed with a harmonica, electric slide guitar and road weary voice, Watermelon Slim zipzags across the United States playing the blues.
He recently released Traveling Man, a two CD live set recorded at The Blue Door, in Oklahoma City and The Depot, Norman, OK.
William P. Homans III, Watermelon Slim, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, but has said that he was raised in North Carolina, where he was first exposed to blues music from about the time he was five years old. He calls Oklahoma home.
Slim, 70, has 14 albums to his credit, dating back to 1973 when his Merry Airbrakes recording was celebrated as one of the first anti-Vietnam War albums done by a military veteran. But it wasn’t until 29 years later that album No. 2 — Big Shoes To Fill — would gain him a national following. Since then, Slim has received over 20 Blues Music Award nominations, including wins for “Band of the Year” and “Album of the Year.”
A true bluesman he found work as forklift driver, funeral officiator, watermelon farmer, small-time criminal, newspaper reporter, saw miller, and truck driver for industrial waste among others. He’s been a vigilant anti-war activist who also earned two college degrees and led a prison band, even if he was the only band member who wasn’t incarcerated.
According to Oklahoma Magazine, Homans was living on a truck farm in July, 1980, in Pushmataha County, Oklahoma when he first adopted the moniker “Watermelon Slim.”
According to Slim, he grew many different crops, from cantaloupes to artichokes, but his farm was never a financial success, merely a sideline. He later said that watermelons were the one crop on which he never lost money.
The songs on Traveling Man are raw blues, primarily about driving truck and the fans he’s met during his travels.
I especially liked his dedicaiton. “This CD is dedicated to my late darling dog Pinot. Unconditional love. Forever in my heart,” Slim said.
In February 2019, his album Church Of The Blues reached number 7 in the US Billboard Blues Albums chart.
About this one, Slim said. “This double CD is a snapshot of the real me, straight no chaser.”