I first had the pleasure to meet and hear MILWAUKEE SLIM through veteran blues multi-instrumentalist Billy Flynn. Slim had come to town with Billy and guest-vocalized with an all-star crew during the final set of the Delmark Records’ 1st Annual Rockwell St. Stroll in August. A “fan favorite,” indeed. The writing below is taken from the LAST.FM website on a page featuring Milwaukee Slim in 2016-2017. Writer unknown.
Silas McClatcher first started singing as a young teen with his identical twin brother, Paul (d. 2006), in Holly Spring, Mississippi. Silas moved to Chicago in 1965, to Milwaukee in 1975, and back to Chicago in 2011, always for better employment opportunities.
He continued to sing privately while hitting all of the clubs where the blues were hot, as he became known as ‘Slim’. One night Milwaukee’s Legendary Bluesman, ‘Stokes’, called Slim up to sing and it was from that point forward his singing became quick in demand, and he received his official blues name “Milwaukee Slim”.
Milwaukee Slim sat in regularly with Stokes and also with Gene and the Soul Gang as they toured all over WI. He has established a rich resume which includes opening shows in WI for Koko Taylor, John Lee Hooker, and Phillip Walker. Milwaukee Slim performed for the Green Bay Packers (2000), and has performed at many WI and IL Festivals over the years, including WI State Fair (1998 – 2004), Shermanfest, and The Chicago Blues Festival. He has been a member of the Midwest Blues All Stars, The House Rockin Blues Review and his own Milwaukee Slim Band. He has performed with the Hayes Family Blues Band, and recorded with Hubert Sumlin, Billy Flynn, Piano Willie, Jim Liban, Barrelhouse Chuck, Calvin Jones, Smokey Smothers, Kent “The Colonel” Knapp, Barefoot Jimmy, Richard Raven, Leroy Airmaster, The Legendary Blues Band, Little Charlie and the Nightcats. and Shoji Naito.
Milwaukee Slim is one of three featured artists that have just finished recording with Rockin’ Johnny (guitar), Steve Dougherty (drums), John Sefner (bass), Illinois Slim (rhythm guitar), and Mike Mettalia (harmonica) for an album to be released in 2017. You can find Milwaukee Slim performing anywhere between Milwaukee and Chicago as he remains a fan favorite!
-Photo by Peter M. Hurley taken at Rockwell St. Stroll, Aug 2021.
© Peter M. Hurley
– Peter M. Hurley
Mr. Hurley is a contributing photographer and writer for Living Blues Magazine and the staff photographer for Chicago Blues Network. His recent book Blues Legacy: Tradition and Innovation in Chicago, in collaboration with Blues historian and author David Whiteis, showcases his work in the field. His passion for blues music began with a 6th grade dance party discovery of Bo Diddley which led to Little Walter, muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and so on. It continues to this day. VISIT PETER’S WEBSITE HERE.