Prakash Slim Travels 8000 Miles to the Crossroads
Ram Prakash Pokharel, aka Prakash Slim, was born in a field during the rainy season in a small village called Lamatar, in the Lalitpur district, of Nepal. His village did not see its first light bulb until 1983 and its first automobile until 1995. With his father passing away at an early age, Prakash's mother was left to raise the three children by working in their neighbor's fields. When asked what his ambition was when young, Prakash Slim replied, ‘Ambition was a privilege for rich kids back then. The only ambition I had was sustaining life.’
Prakash eventually fell in love with music, secretly selling his bicycle and only form of transportation for a cheap guitar. He sought out music mentors near and far to learn how to play. His first influences were Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and B.B. King, but over time his interest in traditional country blues turned him on to artists such as Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, and Bukka White. He posted some videos of him playing on blues guitar Facebook groups and garnered the attention of Fred Love from Tennessee who sent him his first resonator guitar and some slides.
Online he also connected with Lance Bowman and Kat McNeill, who helped organize Prakash's first American tour called "8000 Miles to the Crossroads" to support his 2022 album "Country Blues from Nepal." This release features many traditional country blues covers along with Prakash's originals, some of which he sings in his native tongue of Nepalese which gives them an even more haunting and mystical sound.
During his pilgrimage to the famous blues crossroads, Prakash will be performing with American blues stalwarts such as Johnny Burgin, Christoffer Lund Andersen, and TJ Wheeler. He has played at juke joints all over America, recorded at Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis for his next album, and visited Robert Johnson's grave to pay his respects to his hero.
Our Vice President, Tommy Norman, caught up with Prakash before he performed at Papa Turney's BBQ in Nashville, TN. You can see the video of the interview below.