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Old 08-02-2018, 08:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default R.L. Burnside

Psy-Fi is the only active member to mention R.L. Burnside afaik, but his various posts are scattered (not to say "lost" ) across different rec threads. With a recording career that spans five decades, I thought it was time that Robert Lee Burnside was given a thread of his own. As we might expect, he's explored a lot of blues styles across the years and although I've only scratched the surface so far, I'm particularly excited by these two great tracks:-

i) From a mid-career album with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, A Ass Pocket of Whiskey:-



ii) From his last album, A Bothered Mind, this track packs a remarkable punch from a guy who was 77 years old at the time:-



I'll be digging deeper into this discography over the next few days so any pointers or words of advice would be welcome:-

Spoiler for Wiki's R L B Discography:

Studio albums

Sound Machine Groove (Vogue, 1981)
Plays and Sings the Mississippi Delta Blues (Swingmaster, 1981)
Hill Country Blues (Swingmaster, 1987)
Skinny Woman (Lollipop, 1989), re-released as Acoustic Stories (MC, 1997)
Bad Luck City (Fat Possum, 1994)
Too Bad Jim (Fat Possum, 1994), produced by Robert Palmer
A Ass Pocket of Whiskey (Fat Possum, 1996), featuring the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Mr. Wizard (Fat Possum, 1997), including two tracks with Jon Spencer
Acoustic Stories (M.C. Records, 1997)
Come On In (Fat Possum, 1998), remixed recordings
My Black Name a-Ringin' (Genes, 1999), recordings from 1969
Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down (Fat Possum, 2000)
A Bothered Mind (Fat Possum, 2004), remixed recordings

Live albums

Mississippi Blues (Arion, 1984)
Burnside on Burnside (Fat Possum, 2001), a critically acclaimed 2001 live album recorded at the Crystal Ballroom, on Burnside Street, in Portland, Oregon

Compilation albums (Mostly first releases of previously recorded materials)

Going Down South (Swingmaster, 1999), split album with Johnny Woods and Ranie Burnette, recordings from 1984–1986
Well, Well, Well (MC Records, 2001), songs and interviews from 1986 to 1993
Raw Electric (Inside Sounds, 2002), compilation of recordings from 1979 and 1980
No Monkeys on this Train (HighTone, 2003), compilation of songs from Sound Machine Groove, live material and stories
First Recordings (Fat Possum, 2003), recorded in 1967 by George Mitchell
Rollin' and Tumblin': the King of Hill Country Blues (Wolf, 2010), posthumous compilation of recordings from 1975, 1989, 1991 and 1991
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I listened to the top one of those tracks above. Rocks hard! I liked it.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey, I'm glad you like it! The youtube comments use words like swampy, dirty, bad-ass, and of course the harmonica reminds me of early Beefheart.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You really can't go wrong with any of his albums. A lot of his stuff features re-recordings of songs, sometimes with different musicians, but it's all good.

If you dig his music, you'll probably also dig Junior Kimbrough and Hound Dog Taylor (if you don't already.)
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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^ Thanks, Psy-Fi. I don't know either of those two guys, though the name Hound Dog Taylor rings a bell. It's the kind of name that sticks in the mind, so ten out of ten for PR, Hound Dog.

I'll check them out later, but next on my list is going to be The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. What's your verdict on them?
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Old 08-02-2018, 03:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Despite their name, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion are mostly far more of a garage rock/proto-punk sounding group than a blues band.
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Old 08-02-2018, 03:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have RL Burnside’s album Come On In but have never really been able to get into it.
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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^ As I'm just learning, that album is a curious mix of blues and techno: there are some interesting moments, like the rather surprising Shuck Dub, but some empty, repetitive bits too.

Turns out that the A Ass Pocket album was effectively a live album recorded in four hours, with a few great tracks but some weaker moments and talking blues material that I don't like so much. So far I'm leaning to Mr. Wizard as being his best album: it still has Jon Spencer on a couple of tracks but is more disciplined, with lots of chugging elec blues. As is often the case, the longest tracks are the best imo: Snake Drive and Highway#7 both have some fabulous raw guitar solos.

(And thanks for the heads up about the JS Blues Explosion Psy-Fi )
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Last edited by Lisnaholic; 08-02-2018 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 09-27-2018, 07:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think his 1994 album Too Bad Jim was his best. Not a fan of his work with JSBX.

Kickass blues music.





With that said, his 2000 album Wish I Was In Heaving Sitting Down is probably his most interesting album - as he began infusing different elements into his music, including electronics/synths.

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Old 09-28-2018, 01:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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