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Slim & I – Review

‘Slim & I’ is a film that documents the legacy of Australian country music legend and idol, Slim Dusty, through the eyes of ‘the woman beside the man’, Joy McKean. Joy was more than just Slim’s wife, she was also his manager and songwriter, and was a huge part of the fame and success that Slim achieved throughout his life. Thanks to some amazingly clear archival footage, along with one-on-one interviews with relatives and other industry notables, we get an inside look at the travelling duo as they set about changing the music industry forever.

Together, Slim and Joy combined their skills and experience to form a career that changed Australia’s country music scene for the better. Whilst the film shows us the story of Slim Dusty, it also focuses on his partner Joy, and we get to learn more about the woman who, it’s safe to say, is a big reason that Slim became the country hero that he is today.

Many people throughout the outback still look up to Slim, seeing him as a forefather of modern country music, however it’s Joy who continuously pushed Slim creatively and, although Slim was always talented with his voice and guitar skills, it was Joy that helped show him how big an impact he could truly have on the industry. Some of the most infamous Slim Dusty songs were actually written by Joy, including Lights on the Hill, the outback driving classic that Joy won the first Golden Guitar award for.

We follow Slim and Joys’ journey as they travel through the glorious Australian outback, spreading their love for country music from town to town. As they enter each region, locals are overflowing with happiness and emotion at the chance to meet these iconic music legends. In a time where getting around wasn’t easy, Slim and Joy had to overcome many obstacles such as muddy terrain, constantly getting bogged due to the lack of asphalt roads, and raising their two children, Anne and David, while on the move. You get a feel for not only the good times, but some of the harder parts of their lives, like having to send their kids off to boarding school while touring, as Slim and Joy came to the realisation that their kids were without friends, and actually felt more alone constantly on the road.

Throughout their 50 year love story, they wrote an incredible 107 albums, and as we journey down memory lane with interviews of both Slim and Joy’s family members, we get to see key members of Australia’s country music scene like Kasey Chambers, Missy Higgins and Keith Urban, as they pay their respects to these trailblazers.

Seeing archived footage of the pair back in the 60’s really allows you to reminisce on their lives and feel like you’re a part of these legends’ journey. Throughout the entirety of the film, everyone that was interviewed shared a depth of emotion while talking about their relationship with their mate Slim, and while watching you can both hear the joy and feel the sadness within every story.
‘Slim & I’ is one incredible documentary, if you’re a fan of Aussie legends, and/or Music history, this is definitely something I would recommend. There was not a single dull moment while watching this film and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Good

  • Incredible documentary
Kyle Emblem

Written by: Kyle Emblem


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