Friday, September 02, 2005

RIP R.L. Burnside

Play it: R.L. Burnside Retrospective

As if Mississippi hasn't had enough bad news, one of their favorite sons, Delta blues guitarist R.L. Burnside, died yesterday morning in a hospital in Memphis, TN. He'd been in deteriating health since his heart surgery in 1991.

Ironically, as his health deteriorated, his career took off. Burnside's played guitar for most of his life, but has gone largely unnoticed oustide of ethnomusicologists. Fat Possum Records was founded by Living Blues magazine editor Peter Lee and Matthew Johnson in the 1990's, and was dedicated to recording aging North Mississippi bluesmen such as Burnside and his friend Junior Kimbrough. Fat Possom introduced the world to Burnside with a live LP in 1992 (Bad Luck City) and followed it with his first proper release, Too Bad Jim (1994.)

John Spencer then collaborated with Burnside and released an album that had purists scratching their head, and hipsters shaking their hiney: A Asspocket of Whiskey (1996, on Matador.) Since then Burnside's let Beck producer Tom Rothrock remix and sample together some of his songs (Come on In, 1998.) Burnside was a historically nice and accomodating Southern gentlemen, and tried just about anything anyone had an idea for. Through it all, though, he played his signature Delta blues, regardless of it's surroundings.

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1 comment:

drake leLane said...

R.L. Burnside

* "House Up On The Hill" - R.L. Burnside
* "Shake 'Em On Down" - R.L. Burnside
* "Death Bell Blues" - R.L. Burnside
* "Snake Drive" - R.L. Burnside
* "Goin' Down South" - R.L. Burnside
* "Over The Hill" - R.L. Burnside
* "Rollin' & Tumblin'" - R.L. Burnside
* "You Gotta Move" - R.L. Burnside
* "Death Bell Blues" - R.L. Burnside
* "Meet Me In The Bottom" - R.L. Burnside
* "It's Bad You Know" - R.L. Burnside
* "Just Like A Woman" - R.L. Burnside
* "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" - R.L. Burnside
* "Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down" - R.L. Burnside
* "Forty Four Pistol" - R.L. Burnside
* "Goin Away Baby" - R.L. Burnside
* "Someday Baby" - R.L. Burnside
* "Bird Without A Feather" - R.L. Burnside