Watermelon Slim’s 2006 self-titled release was ranked #1 in MOJO Magazine's 2006 Top Blues CDs, won the 2006 Independent Music Award for Blues Album of the Year, hit #1 on the Living Blues Radio Chart, debuted at #13 on the Billboard Blues Radio Chart, and won the Blues Critic Award for 2006 Album of the Year.
Slim garnered a record-tying six 2007 Blues Music Award nominations for Artist, Entertainer, Album, Band, Song, and Traditional Album of the Year
In April, 2007 Watermelon Slim and The Workers released “The Wheel Man,” his second for Northern Blues Music and his fourth album in five years. The CD hit #1 on the Living Blues Radio Charts, #2 on the Roots Music Blues Charts and debuted in the Top 10 in Billboard's Blues charts. At the Blues Music Awards in May, Watermelon Slim and the Workers took home Band of the Year honors and Album of the Year for “The Wheel Man.”
This year served up 4 Blues Music Award nominations, which makes 17 nominations in 4 years since the debut of "Up Close & Personal" in 2004. Slim and the Workers are again nominated for: BB King Entertainer of the Year; Band of the Year; Contemporary Blues Album of the Year; and Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year.
Roots Music Association members have nominated Watermelon Slim and the Workers in the Artist of the Year category for the 2008 Roots Music Association Awards. Slim has also been nominated for the BB King International Artist of the Year award for the 2008 Maple Blues Awards. The honors just keep rolling in!
William “Watermelon Slim” Homans, was born in Boston and raised in North Carolina. He grew up listening to his maid sing John Lee Hooker and other blues songs around the house, which surely influenced his musical direction.
He dropped out of Middlebury College to enlist for Vietnam. While recovering from a war wound Homans taught himself upside-down left-handed slide guitar on a $5 balsa wood model using a triangle pick cut from a coffee can top and his Army issued Zippo lighter as the slide.
Returning home a fervent anti-war activist, Homans first appeared on the music scene with the release of “Merry Airbrakes,” a 1973 protest tinged LP with tracks Country Joe McDonald later covered.
In the 30 plus years following, Homans was mostly a truck driver, with odd jobs thrown in. Many of his current songs began while trucking, keeping him awake and entertained. He ended up farming watermelons in Oklahoma - hence his stage name and current home base.
Somewhere in those same decades Slim completed undergraduate degrees in history and journalism, a masters degree in history from OSU, and become a member of Mensa, the social networking group reserved for members with certified genius IQs.
When not on the road with his music, the multi-talented Homans has now gotten more serious about painting. “I have dabbled in painting and caricature since childhood” he says, citing Salvador Dali as his greatest influence. And the music may take a turn toward country and western as he plans an album soon with a major country and western songwriter.
For additional information about Watermelon Slim, visit www.watermelonslim.com. For additional information about Performing Arts Studio programs phone 405-307-9320.
Winter Wind Concerts are made possible in part by grants from the Norman Arts Council, Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding comes from sponsors Tom McAuliffe of Don Cies Real Estate, Mark and Teresa Marsee of Avanti Skin Care, Therapy in Motion, and Nancy McClellan. Skye Diers of Gingerbread Nursery School, Becky Grider and Danna Primm also provide financial support. Residence Inn by Marriott, Winans Fine Chocolates and Coffees, and Cafe Plaid provide in-kind services.