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Life Arts    H4'ed 7/21/16

An Interview With the Artist Inside the Columnist

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This telephone interview was conducted by an unidentified interviewer from Pollstar in 2013. Typographical errors have been corrected, and facts updated where necessary. It may be found at www.pollstar.com/news_article.aspx?ID=806608.

I have had numerous requests for a more thorough biographical treatment of the phenomenon of Watermelon Slim. If permitted to be here, this article may get a little farther than scratching my surface.

The story of Watermelon Slim, aka Bill Homans, doesn't read like your typical artist bio. Instead of spending years as a young man perfecting his craft, Slim enlisted in the military and served in Vietnam. After scoring extremely high on an I.Q. test, Homans became a member of Mensa, the largest and oldest high I.Q. society in the world. He joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War after he was discharged from the service. He also worked many jobs while continuing his education and earned several college degrees.

In 2006 Watermelon Slim & The Workers released a self-titled album that ended up gathering six Blues Music Awards nominations. 2007's The Wheel Man also led to six noms and resulted in Slim taking home the Album Of The Year and Band Of The Year awards. In 2009 Slim racked up four nominations, including one for Album Of The Year for 2008's No Paid Holidays . He was also nominated for the prestigious B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year award.

A conversation with Watermelon Slim is like a ride in one of those trucks he used to drive for a living where the driver talks about anything and everything, including world affairs, human events and politics while you ride shotgun, not wanting to interrupt the fabulous storyteller behind the wheel. You may not know where you're going when Watermelon Slim is in that driver's seat, but you know you're making good time.

What's the story behind the title of your new album, Bull Goose Rooster ?

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My name is William Perkins Homans the third, but probably more people know me as the bluesman (and artist) Watermelon Slim.

I've been in the fight against war, fascism, injustice and inhumanity for 47 years. I was at MayDay, 1971, (more...)

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