Texas Slim and the Love Machine
Gig Seeker Pro

Texas Slim and the Love Machine

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States
Band Blues Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Into The Blues"

Into the Blues
Famous Dave’s lets blues music sing its tale of authenticity.

By Margaret Littman
May 1, 2006

Last year, Famous Dave’s of America, the Minnetonka, Minn.-based barbecue chain, launched a black-and-white ad campaign set to blues music. The campaign was only the second year of television advertising in the chain’s nearly 12-year history.

The commercials showed how the Famous Dave’s concept developed. As its chefs and founder Dave Anderson looked all over the country for the best regional barbecue recipes, they “ran into a lot of blues music. There’s a natural connection between blues music and barbecue,� explains Vice President of Marketing Lane Schmiesing. “We used the black and white to grab interest. It had a documentary-esque feel, and then as you started to move into Famous Dave’s food, it became more vibrant, and moved into color.�

The campaign worked as intended. But as the publicly owned chain plans to expand at the rate of 25 to 30 units annually, primarily through franchising, that sort of aggressive growth prompted Famous Dave’s to create a new ad campaign that highlights its authentic barbecue and blues ambience.

“We just decided to take the original idea and make it better,� says Denny Haley, president and chief creative officer at BBDO Minneapolis, the agency that created the campaign. “It is still very much about the marriage of barbecue and blues. We’re just taking it up a notch.�

Filmed entirely in color, the new spots once again feature blues band Texas Slim and the Love Machine singing lyrics BBDO specifically wrote for the ad. The songs are rife with double entendres, referring to “a hunger inside me� and “now that I’ve found you, there’s nothin’ more to do.�

The team hired Danny Clinch, a director nominated for a Grammy for his work on a Bruce Springsteen video, to create the ads. “That’s how serious we were about this. It is really a short-form music video,� says Haley, who believes the spots are able to garner attention without getting off message. “A lot of [other] executions got in the way of the food. But marrying the blues music to the food worked really well.�

Food First
This second iteration of the musical campaign began airing in early March. The three spots, available in both 15- and 30-second formats, feature limited-time promotions such as the variety of catfish items on the menu, from blackened to fried. This summer’s commercials will highlight ribs, while the fall touts pork loin. Another version introduces customers to Famous Dave’s “To Go� carryout options.

Haley says the commercials feature more than one kind of barbecue to underscore Famous Dave’s authenticity. The ads specifically mention the chain’s many regional sauces such as tangy Georgia mustard and smoky Texas pit. The spots end with the tagline: “Real Honest Barbeque.�

Unlike their black-and-white predecessors, the new spots feature images of Famous Dave’s restaurant interiors from the back-of-the-house grill to the front-of-the-house waiters in addition to Texas Slim’s tunes, which are more upbeat and faster-paced than the ones it sung in the 2005 ads.

But Haley says the spots were created with the food in mind from the get-go. “This was not ‘have some blues music and then insert food.’�

No Cheap Shots
“This is a smart position, and it is working,� Haley says. “We never mention price. If someone wants to buy the cheapest barbecue, they’ll go find it. We are not commoditizing. We are [showing Famous Dave’s] as uncompromising. These musicians, Texas Slim, are guys who have not sold out, and [Famous Dave’s barbecue] is the same kind of thing.�

Such advertising doesn’t come cheap. According to TNS Media Intelligence, Famous Dave’s spent $2.5 million on advertising placement in 2005, up from $1.4 million in 2004. The chain subsidized the campaign with its first ad fund, in which franchisees contribute 1 percent of sales.

The ads are targeted to new, lapsed and current customers, ages 21 to 54, who are college educated. To reach that wide, varied audience, the commercials have been airing in a variety of time slots on both cable and network TV. Coordinating radio ads run during sports radio and adult rock programming.

But for all the emphasis on the menu, Schmiesing says, the chain brought in an unexpected new audience when it announced the agreement with Texas Slim and the Love Machine: “We started getting e-mail from their fan base.� - Chain Leader

"Texas Slim - I Have Arrived"

I don't know where Slim has been, but indeed he has arrived. This new disc from Co Mess Records features 12 tracks from the returning Slim recorded by the drummer/bass player/percussion dude Aaron Comess in his home studio in NYC. Wait just a dad gum minute! NEW YORK CITY?!?! We don't trust them to make our chili or picante sauce, do we really trust them to record our blues? Okay in this case, we'll make an exception. But just this once.

Robin Sullivan otherwise known as Texas Slim, sings, plays guitar, and even contributes some keyboards to the mix. The aforementioned Aaron Comess handles most everything else except for keyboards and a poem, contributed by Andy Comess who is either related to Aaron or this is an amazing coincidence and science should be called. Actually either way science should be called; they are probably getting kind of lonely these days.

There's some good stuff on the CD. Lots of nice moments. Slim handles his chops, so to speak, and is adept at playfully and pleasantly pontificating the back breaking blues. All original tunes to be heard. All written by Slim himself. It's feverishly funky and terrifyingly toe tapping. Check out the cool tune "Super Hero Morning Brew" or the aptly named "Cowtown Rain Dance." Slim handles the compositions with a superior hand. His songwriting is clever and on target. He knows how to turn a phrase and measure a catchy groove. I enjoyed the track "Whiskey Mama" quite a bit. The drum bass and everything else, man, Comess turns into some solid work on all the various instruments he plays. There is an especially stirring track "NYC Pride" that seems to relate to the 9/11 tragedy. It's a great tune with a great message.

There is a lot to like here. And promises of an upcoming release with Joey Love sound good to me. See? I got through this whole review without one Texas Slimfast joke! Momma would be so proud.
- Bill Pontificating Fountain

June 2002 Southwest Blues - Southwest Blues Magazine

"The Blues are Going Places and So Is He"

Here's an interview with Texas Slim from 1993. A lot has happened for Slim since this article, but I include it because there is a lot of good historical bio info. The Gems broke up about 1995 and Slim joined local bar band Cold Blue Steel. He honed his chops even further and learned a lot about the business side of music from front man James Buck. His rhythm section, Kenny Stern and Bill Cornish, spent some time touring with Joe Kubek before re-joining Slim for the Texas Slim Blues Band in 1996.

Robin "Texas Slim" Sullivan
The Blues are Going Places and So Is He
By Don O.

Robin "Texas Slim" Sullivan is one of the hottest unsigned blues men in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He's been thrilling area club audiences for over 14 years, yet his only recording to date is a self released demo made with one of his early bands, Blue Ice. Only about 100 copies were made. In the last year and a half, Slim has finally quit his day job, something prophesied in one of his first original songs, and has pursued a music career full time with his new band, Texas Slim and the Gems. Slim's reputation has begun to spread outside of the Metroplex. He recently played a sold out show in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is beginning to regularly tour through Kansas, Arkansas, and Tennessee. I have no doubt this will be the year he is signed to one of the big blues labels, or maybe to a major label. He has that kind of talent. Here, in his own words, is the story of Texas Slim. His early bands, his major influences, and where he thinks the blues are going. Pay attention. Texas Slim is going places himself.

I'm 29 years old. I was born in 1963, the big year for Dallas. The Kennedy year, July 26, 1963. Born here in Dallas, Baylor Hospital, I've been here all my life. My very first memory of hearing blues would have to be John Lee Hooker in about the 8th grade. Which is a major time in life, you know. It really influenced me. I was turned off by all the commercial music at that time and just hearing it blew my mind. I knew that was The Stuff. It was just a record a friend had. I think the first blues record I bought was Lightnin Hopkins.

I knew as early as 5th grade that I wanted to play music. My older brothers were playing around with it and I had taken lessons off and on. I messed around with guitar, drums, and bass. I had played guitar since I was about 7 years old and was playing mainly drums by the 8th grade. Hearing the blues made me want to play guitar more. I decided that same year to go to the Dallas Arts Magnet High School so it was a potent time in my life. When I first started playing guitar I used to jam on a simple blues riff. I didn't even know it was blues, but it's what I played.

The first blues song I consciously tried to play was "Kansas City." I heard one of my brother's friends play it and I liked that cool beat. I thought "I can do that" so I was singing "Kansas City" when I was 8 years old. I didn't even know it was blues until years later. My high school guitar teacher encouraged me to get into a working situation so I joined a country and western band and played that predominantly through my high school years. It wasn't commercial rock. I was protesting that. I knew it wasn't a permanent situation. I spent all my spare time listening to blues. We played a lot of big gigs. We were on TV, 4 Country Reporter it was back then. We were on PM Magazine back when that was local. We also played national TV on NBC, the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon at the Dallas Convention Center. I did "Johnny B. Goode" and played like a pretty hot little 15 year old guitar player on a Stratocaster.

Once I turned 16 and had wheels, around 1979, I started thinking I could have my own band. That's when I started my first blues band with two of my best friends. We called it Blue Ice. The original Blue Ice was Richard Pickerell on bass and Randy Ventrika on drums. The significance of those guys is they were my older brother's friends. They were older than me, and they had a big influence on the music I listened to. Randy was a great guitar player. He's really the one that got me kicked into electric guitar. He had an electric guitar, an amp, and a fuzz box and we could go over to his garage and turn it up LOUD and nobody complained. In fact the neighborhood kids would come by on their little scooters and stop and listen. That was when I was around 9 or 10 years old. He is the one who really started me playing. I saw him play and I said "I've got to do that." He's a carpenter these days. He opted for the family life, lives out in the country, and is doing really well.

The first paying gig with Blue Ice was at Big Ralph's City Dump, Marsh Lane at Northwest Highway, which was in my neighborhood. It was a biker bar. I even tried to paint on a moustache to keep me out of trouble because I definitely wasn't old enough to be in there. That particular gig was also my first experience at playing blues for a not so friendly crowd. They did not want to hear blues. They wanted to hear ZZ Top. I was saying stuff like "This next song is by Freddie King, but I think ZZ Top did it one time!" I was a little scared. After I graduated high school I went to college up at North Texas State (now the University of North Texas) in Denton and I kept Blue Ice going. We played on campus a couple of times at Bruce Hall, which is the music dorm up there. Wild parties. Those were a real inspiration to me because all those other musicians were there. Those were great gigs that I was actually in control of. We played real blues and everybody loved us.

Alex Moore was important to me even before I started Blue Ice. During the time I played country, I would mow anybody's lawn to afford to buy a new blues album. I'd mow lawns then hit the record store. I was largely listening to country blues. That's when I bought all my Blind Blake, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, and everything I could get my hands on. It was more available and cheaper back in the late 70's. Blues was not popular back then. They were the cheapest records in the store. I was going "Yeah! I can get John Lee Hooker and Lightnin Hopkins records for a buck!" They thought they were scamming me but I was scamming them! I became friends with Alex Moore because my mom worked at the library downtown. She knew I was interested in blues, because I was trying to mow the lawn two or three times a week. They had Alex booked on a Tuesday afternoon lunch program as a solo artist. I went down there and after his performance I just couldn't get up. The auditorium cleared out and Alex was still at the piano. I was still in my seat and just couldn't move. I thought to myself "This is really something. I just have to meet this man. If I just get to shake his hand I'll be so honored." So I finally got up and went down there and Alex didn't really have anybody else to talk to. He said "You can take me home if you want to." So I said "Sure!" We became friends that quick. He was so generous with his time, with what he knew, with the history he had lived. He was a proud man. When I was up in Denton I'd get these letters from him. Big envelopes marked all over-"Alex Moore, 1969 blues festival, International Arhoolie recording artist, piano player, Helsinki, Finland, 1969, Stuttgart, Germany" every place he'd been. The whole envelope would be completely marked with this incredibly detailed script work. I've still got those and treasure them.

Of course the next thing I wanted to do was play with Alex. But people would tell me "You can't play with him, man. Nobody can follow Alex!" Well, I thought I could and I decided I had to try it. We got together the first time at my house. My mom had a piano. We invited him over on a Sunday afternoon. Fixed him dinner and everything. I first started trying to play with him and he would go with this wild, quick, sudden change and I would jump and try to be right there with him and land it a half second late. Alex said "Now wait a minute. When I make a mistake, you just keep on going right. I'll meet you at the end." So I said "Alright. If you say you made a mistake, I'll just ignore what you're doing and I'll just play the straight 12 bar blues." So we tried it the first time. He went with his quick change and I didn't go with him. I just kept going. When it got to the turn around at the end of the 12 bars, Alex was way off, and he comes back in and just nailed it! I couldn't believe it. He never was lost. He was just out there on his own planet! I learned how to play with Alex and I did maybe 5 gigs with him. They were all duo gigs, just me and Alex. Very, very memorable. Somebody in this town has tapes of those and I would do anything to get a copy!

I met Little Joe Blue in the days of the Nash Street House, around 1984. Another period of growth for me. I had moved back into Dallas from Denton and was beginning to get a little more mature, I was still just a kid! It was the same type of attraction as with Alex. When I first saw him I just had to meet him. When I did we hit it off really big. He was very complimentary of everything I tried to do. He was so encouraging. He told me "You've got it, you're good, stay with it, and don't ever stop." He meant a lot to me. I remember we played the Bronco Bowl with only about 300 people there. That place held about 2500 so there was plenty of room. Joe and I went out into the audience and played and sang together. Another time we did a Sunday matinee at Poor David's and he turned around and told me "Now Slim, I'm going to put this guitar over my head. You put yours behind your back and lets go get 'em!" So we proceeded to stroll through the audience and we got 'em! Him with that big Les Paul behind his head! I'll remember those gigs forever.

So many of the guys that are still around had an impact on my electrical style. I saw Anson Funderburgh for the first time when I was about 16. I know I wasn't old enough to be in the club. But it was in my neighborhood, I could ride my bike home. I just remember I was in awe of Anson. I still am. Joe Kubek, Jim Suhler, Hash Brown, Mike Morgan, basically we all go way back in the struggle. I told Jim just the other day "Keep happenin! Every time something good happens for you it seems to rub off on me, too!" It's great to see Jim's band Monkey Beat taking off. Joe Kubek is killin' them everywhere. Mike used to come down and jam with us when we played at the old McKinney Station. He put my name in the acknowledgements when he put out his first CD on Blacktop. I asked him why and he said it was because I always used to let him sit in. I was amazed. We're all kind of family. Me and Hash Brown are tight from way back. We know what it's like to live the blues.

My second band, The Texas Blues Experience, came about because I was trying to improve my booking status. I took on a full time manager who really made some heavy demands, including the name change. I had taken the name Texas Slim just because I thought it was cool. It's like all those old records I've got. Those guys were dodging the labels by using different pseudonyms and it's just a cool historical thing. I called Alex and said "Hey, what do you think". He thought it was the greatest thing in the world so I've been Texas Slim ever since. I'm keeping it forever. I met drummer Kenny Stern in College at North Texas. John Bush, who was the conga player with Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians, was in the Texas Blues Experience. Yes, we were the only blues band with a conga player. Kenny is my drummer now. He's been with me most of the time since 1982. He just feels it when I'm going to make a move and he's right there, BAM. Just like that. That comes from years of being together. He went through the years with Little Joe Blue and has played with Kubek, Mike Morgan, Jim Suhler, the whole gang. I strongly rejected the name Texas Blues Experience. It was something that was forced on me. The whole promotion bit was kind of taken out of my hands and I had no control. I was still young and learning. As soon as I lost the manager I lost the name. I liked Blue Ice and I went back to it for a few years. Keyboard player Andy Comess came into the picture about 1986 when I got Blue Ice back together. His brother Aaron, who is now the drummer for the Spin Doctors, was our bass player in that period, 1986 to 1987. Basically I was with them and Kenny until Snooky Duke came along. Blue Ice eventually folded because we were starving to death.

Basically it was because we wanted to play real blues and be in control of our own music. We weren't making any money and I wasn't doing very well with the booking. I was in a situation where I had a family and I had a lot of pressure to not be doing that type of thing. There were a lot of different things that caused it to fold. Snooky Duke and the Roadrunners was a case of me just not being able to sit at home and not play. I walked into that gig. It was an every Sunday thing. I just wanted to play. I met Mouse Mayes and Guthrie Kinnard and Christian Brooks and thought they were great people and dynamite players. We did a lot of blues with Snooky Duke, mostly Stevie Ray stuff, real hard edged stuff. I like that stuff, too. It was just a situation where I wasn't the boss. I didn't have any say over what we played or didn't play. I was kind of yearning to be back in my own situation. I stayed with it for about two years. Financially it was a successful band. We worked a lot. When I finally did quit my day job I was still with Snooky Duke. I started Texas Slim & the Gems within one month after quitting my day job.

Now with the Gems, I have Kenny and Andy back. We've just added the best bass player I've played with in my life, Bill Cornish. His progress is so rapid we hope to have a studio date soon. I think by April we'll be in the studio. We just did a live DAT tape at Schooner's and may put some of that out as well. We have lots of people wanting tapes. We're on a mission and we're on a very positive track. We play a wide variety of blues. Hard edge blues, traditional blues, blues so quiet you can hear people talking and glasses clink. Right now we've got about a dozen original songs. We want to eventually have three sets of originals so we can use the standards as fill ins to mix things up. We are totally committed to blues. All kinds of blues, but blues. If you hear an R&B tune you know that the next one is going to be more hard core blues. We like to mix it up a bit to keep the people on the dance floor. The clubs expect that. That shuffle and dance beat helps us. Then we kick back into a slow blues and all the blues freaks light up and lean forward in their seats. You may even see some acoustic blues in future gigs. That's not gone away from my repertoire. I still have my acoustic songs. They relax me like no other music can. It's hard when you're packing so much gear to carry an acoustic guitar, too. I usually don't in the group situation but I may try a solo gig just to get it out there.

This is the first band in which I've really played the regional circuit. We've played in Topeka, Kansas at The Getaway. They book folks like Joe Kubek, The Crawl, and Little Jimmy King. It's a great spot. The Ritz in Wichita. I'm booked in Arkansas, mainly clubs in the 6 to 10 hour driving range. We've played Huey's in Memphis. We went there once and found out Jay Sheffield, the M.C. of the W.C Handy awards, books that club. We sent him a tape and he thought it was OK. He was a little hesitant to bring us in, but he booked us because Mike Morgan & Joe Kubek had said we are alright. He came up to us after our first set and said "Dynamite! Any time you are coming through, give us a call!" Our biggest show so far was up in Cambridge, Massachusetts at Dan Aykroyd's club, House of Blues. We sold out two hours before show time and turned away 200 at the door, in the rain! We're already booked there again for Memorial Day weekend doing two shows a night. They're opening up several more of those clubs nationwide so that may cause us to expand our circuit a bit!

I think right now things are really good for the blues. I heard John Lee Hooker is finally rich from the success of The Healer. Finally, after 40 years he's getting rich! Buddy Guy's getting rich from Damn Right I Got the Blues. I see that as part of a trend. We actually have it a lot easier than them because they've broken down some of the barriers. Hopefully I won't have to wait 40 years before I get THE record deal. There's a lot of major labels signing blues acts. The Red Devils are on Def American which is Warner Brothers. MCA, Point Blank, Charisma, and Virgin are others. Robert Cray is on Mercury Polygram. Buddy Guy's Silvertone label is actually RCA. I see a lot of others that are probably going to jump in. The mainstream rock market has fragmented into so many different styles how can you possibly keep up with them all? How do you tell pop from alternative from heavy metal from grunge from rap and whatever? They're all kind of coming into their own and I see blues maybe standing on its own and becoming another mainstream thing. Selling consistent numbers of units and becoming just another piece of the pie. I think blues is big enough right now that I don't see why MTV doesn't do maybe a two hour show each week just on blues. I can't believe it hasn't broken into that league by now. Major labels are the ones that control those markets and with the number of big boys moving into blues, it just has to be a matter of time. If they're going to sign blues they're going to have to promote them.

- Don O. - Dallas, TX


Topcat Records
Driving Blues
2009 Topcat Records TCT-4092

Co-MESS Records
I Have Arrived
2002 Co-Mess Records TS-2994

Blue This Morning
1997 Gemtone Records GT-20329

Walking in the Dark
1993 Gemtone Records GT-333

Performs on:
Wanda King (daughter of Freddie King)
From a Blues Point of View
2003 WMKMusic

Performs on:
Cindy Malone
Blues Now and Then
2002 Gemtone Records CM-3101

Performs on:
2002 Pablo Rose Records PRCD-2198

Performs on:
Randy McAllister
Givers and Takers
2001 Freedom First Records

Performs on:
Christmas in Cowtown Vol.2
Randy McAllister

Performs on:
JSP Compilation (Randy McAllister)

Performs on:
Randy McAllister
Double Rectified Bust Head
1999 JSP Records CD-2130

Performs on:
Pops Carter and the Funkmonsters
Rhythm Man
1998 U.R.O.C.K. CDQ-99999

Performs on:
KNON Blues Volume I

Performs on:
Cold Blue Steel
Headed Out of Memphis
1996 Icehouse Records P2-50523



Texas Slim could very well be a reincarnate of a passed soulful singer who plays guitar and is once again carving out a niche in blues music history.

Born and raised in Dallas, TX.... Slim from an early age met and played with the great Alex Moore, (who first recorded the blues in 1929) and later Little Joe Blue.

In March of 2002 Slim released his second solo effort "I Have Arrived" which includes the production and performance talents of Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors/Joan Osborne and others). In addition to his own records, Slim has recorded and toured with Cold Blue Steel, Randy McAllister, FOAMY (New Bohemians) and has graced the stages of the House of Blues as well as one of the first artists to ever play a Hard Rock Cafe.

The year 2006 is quickly becoming the band's best year yet starting if off by recording National TV Commercials and Radio spots for Famous Dave's BBQ Restaurant's which is airing in 30 states across the country. The video was directed by Danny Clinch who's photography talents have been seen in Rolling Stone, GQ, Vanity Fair among others. Danny also just finished a DVD for Bruce Springsteen which won a grammy award.

Other accomplishments in 2006 include headlining the Edmond Jazz & Blues Festival, opening for Johnny Winter, Savoy Brown and Blue Oyster Cult and touring the country.