Tempo Blues Booking Agency  Past Tours

Frank Goldwasser
"One of the most talented blues guitarist of his generation"

Frank Goldwasser has been playing music professionally since his first gig with San Francisco Bay Area bluesman Sonny Rhodes in 1981. Impressed with the 21-year old's skills, Rhodes invited his young protegé to join him in Oakland, California. Having dropped out of art school in his native Paris, Goldwasser arrives in Oakland the following summer, and soon lands a steady job with Troyce Key's Big Blues Band. Key, a singer-guitarist and owner of Oakland's notorious “home of the West Coast blues” ELI'S MILE HIGH CLUB, takes Frank under his wing and christens him "Paris Slim". Soon after, Omar Shariff (the piano virtuoso who, under the name of Dave Alexander, had recorded two magnificent albums for the Arhoolie record label) hires the aspiring bluesman for his Sunday afternoon gig at Eli’s.

For over a year, Goldwasser occupies the chair of guitarist in Key's band, backing-up a virtual who's who of post-war West Coast Blues luminaries: Percy Mayfield, Jimmy McCracklin, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulson, Sugar Pie De Santo and Big Mama Thornton among others. Rapidly developing a following of his own, Goldwasser forms the Paris Slim Blues Band to take over for Key who decides to take a break from performing. Now leader of the Eli's Mile High Club house-band, Goldwasser provides backing for Fulson, McCracklin as well as a plethora of seminal Bay Area Blues artists, including Dr. Wild Willie Moore, Lady Bianca, Dottie Ivory, JJ Malone, Eddie Ray, Cool Poppa, Maurice McKinnies, Frankie Lee and Mississippi Johnny Waters. Jimmy McCracklin notices the young man's abilities and deep knowledge of his repertoire; he hires him to be his guitarist and musical director. For the next three years, "Paris Slim" tours with the blues legend, while appearing on his own at various Bay Area night clubs, including the SALOON and MAJOR PONDS (San Francisco), YOUR PLACE (Oakland) and JJ'S LOUNGE (San Jose).

In december 1984, Frank Goldwasser records a single at San Francisco's Dave Wellhausen Studios. The 45, featuring a driving rendition of Lowell Fulson's "Guitar Shuffle", quickly finds itself spinning in numerous juke-boxes in Oakland's and San Francisco's blues bars. Feature stories appear in the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, the BAY GUARDIAN and other papers. In the EAST BAY EXPRESS, music critic Lee Hildebrand writes: "...one of the most impressive young guitarists to have come along in some time... Paris Slim has the most consistently interesting repertoire of any Bay Area blues performer".

At Berkeley's LARRY BLAKE'S, Frank meets guitarist Tim Kaihatsu who hosts the popular Blue Monday Party. Frank takes part in numerous sessions, until eventually he takes Kaihatsu’s place who leaves to join the Robert Cray Band. There, he works with Luther Tucker, Freddie Roulette, Elvin Bishop, Norton Buffalo, Ron Thompson, Mark Hummel and Linda Tillery. In 1985, a recommendation from Kaihatsu lands Goldwasser a job with harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite. The following year, he hires on with Mitch Woods and the Rocket 88's, replacing Danny Caron who has been recruited by blues star Charles Brown. In 1986, Goldwasser appears twice on the SAN FRANCISCO BLUES FESTIVAL: The Paris Slim Blues Band is part of the Saturday line-up, while the Woods’ band is on the next day! A US tour with Mitch includes gigs with Omar and the Howlers at ANTONE'S (Austin) and with the Neville Brothers at TIPITINA'S (New Orleans). Returning to the Bay Area, Goldwasser forms a new band and plays shows with Buddy Guy and Junior Wells (the Cotati Cabaret), Roomful Of Blues (Wolfgang’s) and Delbert McClinton (Slim’s) while free-lancing with Sunnyland Slim (Wolfgang’s), Brownie McGhee, Byther Smith, James Harman and AC Reed (JJ’s Lounge). Stints with the Gary Smith Band and Nick Gravenites follow.

Filling-in for the late great Michael Bloomfield In august 1989, he joins Gravenites for an historical reunion of the pioneering rock-blues fusion band the Electric Flag, alongside original members Barry Goldberg and Harvey Brooks, Blues Project drummer/co-founder Roy Blumenfeld and keyboardist Merle Saunders. September sees the release of Paris Slim’s first album, "Blues For Esther" (on the Belgian label Blue Sting), which receives a nomination for the prestigious WC. Handy Awards. Its personel includes such prominent Bay Area musicians as alto sax legend Earl "Good Rockin'" Brown, Bobby Murray (of Etta James's band), Rick Estrin (of Little Charlie and the Nightcats), Tim Kaihatsu, Jimmy Pugh and Karl Sevareid (of the Robert Cray Band).

After a stint with Monterey-based Terry Hanck and the Soul Rockers in the early 90's, Paris Slim tours the Pacific Northwest, creating a stir at the ROSE CITY BLUES FESTIVAL (Portland). Local music critic Art Bukovich writes in the Oregonian:" With commanding stage presence and a deep feel for the blues, Paris Slim delivered the goods... “. Paris Slim then headlines the FESTIVAL AT THE LAKE in Oakland before touring Europe, where he fronts his own band and backs up Los Angeles blues colossus Phillip Walker and saxophonist Joe Houston. In 1994, Goldwasser returns to Paris to appear at the BAGNEUX BLUES NIGHT festival on a bill with Chick Willis, Luther Johnson and Jerry McCain. While in Paris, he records with his friend French Blues innovator Benoît Blue Boy. Back in California, he backs Phillip Walker at the SACRAMENTO BLUES FESTIVAL. In september 1995, Goldwasser teams up with Chicago Blues guitar-hero Steve Freund for a unique performance at the SAN FRANCISCO BLUES FESTIVAL.

A second album, "Bleedin' Heart", is released in 1996 on the Globe Records label. Produced by his long-time friend Joe Louis Walker and featuring guest appearances by Walker and Sonny Rhodes, the album is received with enthusiasm. Joseph Jordan, writing in BLUES ACCESS, says: "...One of the best CDs I've listened to in a year or two, major or independant... An absolute corker... There's no filler on this platter of power and pain. Slim is a natural, an accomplished vocalist, superb guitarist and splendid songwriter". IN VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE, David Hussong writes: " Slim's playing is forceful and soulful... Goldwasser has that (Texas master Johnny Winter's) level of intensity in his delivery".

In the mid 90's, Goldwasser frequently jams with the Tommy Castro Band at the GRANT AND GREen saloon in San Francisco. When double-booked, Castro invites his "alter ego" to take his place fronting his band at the GRANT AND GREEN and LOU'S. The two play double-bills at SLIM’S in San Francisco and ASHKENAZ in Berkeley.

Following the production of an instructional blues guitar video, “Trippin’ On The Blues”, for the San Mateo-based company Mountain Top, a recording session is scheduled, featuring Paris Slim with Gary Smith and Bay Area blues veterans Johnny Ace and the Dynatone’s Big Walter Shufflesworth. The album, “Moutain Top West Coast Blues Summit --- Be Careful What You Wish For ”, released on the Mountain Top label in 1997, receives rave reviews from the press. Mick Rainsford, writing in Britain’s BLUES AND RHYTHM, calls Goldwasser a “talented and soulful singer”. Andy Grigg, in REAL BLUES, writes: “The epitomy of West Coast Blues in all its glory… This will probably cop “Best West Coast Blues CD of 1998”… Paris Slim will scare the pants off you with his chops”. In 1998 a new Paris Slim album is recorded for Mountain Top. Featuring Rusty Zinn on second guitar, “Going Back To Paris” remains unfortunately unreleased to this day. The following year, Goldwasser supervises the reissue of the Clarence “Guitar” Sims (a.k.a. Fillmore Slim) album, “Born To Sing The Blues”, originally recorded by Troyce Key and released on his own Eli Mile High record label. Two more Fillmore Slim albums are recorded under Goldwasser’s direction but remain unreleased.

In 1998, Frank moves to the Los Angeles area. Joining forces with Fedora Records producer-drummer-A&R man Chris Millar, Goldwasser contributes to numerous Fedora releases, including albums by Fillmore Slim, Tommy Bankhead, Hosea Leavy and Harmonica Slim, J.J. Malone, Willie Kent and Iceman Robinson. The same year, Frank is honored by France’s TROPHÉE FRANCE BLUES association with the “Best Guitarist of the Year” award.

Having dropped the moniker “Paris Slim”, Goldwasser tours Europe frequently for the next four years. He appears on some of the old continent’s most prestigious venues and music festivals, fronting his band and backing Homesick James, Clay Hammond, John “So Blue” Weston, Arthur Williams and others at the LUCERNE BLUES FESTIVAL (Switzerland), THE BLUES ESTAFETTE in Utrecht (Netherlands) and Ecaussine's SPRING BLUES FESTIVAL (Belgium). For a performance at the BOWLFUL OF BLUES festival in Ojai, California in the fall of 1999, Los Angeles record producer Rand Chortkoff hires Goldwasser to back up Finis Tasby and Chicago harp legend Billy Boy Arnold. Impressed by Frank’s own opening set, Chortkoff decides to take him into the studio to record a new album. Aided by a cast of world-class sidemen including Alex Schultz (formerly of Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers) and Kirk Fletcher (of Fabulous Thunderbird Kim Wilson’s band) on guitars, Gerald Johnson on bass, and guests Philip Walker and JJ Malone, Frank goes into the studio in Los Angeles in October 2000 to record mostly original compositions. From his new home-base in Southern California, Goldwasser free-lances with the likes of Kim Wilson (Cozy’s in Sherman Oaks), Mitch Kashmar (Soho in Santa Barbara), R.J. Mischo and Rusty Zinn. A trip to Seattle, Washington in August 2000 finds Goldwasser backing up Chicago Blues Icons Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith.

In october 2001, Goldwasser has recorded an album with Chicago Blues guitar master Jimmy Dawkins. With drummer Chris Millar, he formed the trio Blisterstring early in January 2002 and put out the CD “The Highway Is Like A Woman…” on Millar’s own Under Siege label. A European tour followed in the spring with Dawkins and Dave Riley.
Frank Goldwasser