Get this crazy baby off my head!


R.L Burnside

R.L Burnside & Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - A Ass Pocket O' Whiskey - 1996 - Fat Possum

The late, great R.L Burnside once said that "A Ass Pocket O' Whiskey"t had sold more copies than anything he had put out in his career, and that from the proceeds he was able to put a new roof on his house in Mississippi, which according to R.L. leaked like crazy whenever it rained. Words from a man who played the blues for his pure love of the music, and certainly not for the money. The album received mixed reviews, but give it a listen. R.L Burnside was one of the masters of Delta juke joint blues, and helped out by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, he proves it on this album. This is a 128 bit version, so sound quality could be much better. There is info on his great "Too Bad Jim" album @ RLB/TBJ


Goin' Down South - R.L. Burnside
Boogie Chillen - John Lee Hooker
Poor Boy - R.L. Burnside
2 Brothers - R.L. Burnside
Snake Drive - R.L. Burnside
Shake 'Em on Down - R.L. Burnside
The Criminal Inside Me - R.L. Burnside
Walkin' Blues - R.L. Burnside
Tojo Told Hitler - R.L. Burnside
Have You Ever Been Lonely (Have You Ever Been Blue) - R.L. Burnside, Jon Spencer


R.L. Burnside (Guitar), (Vocals)
Kenny Brown (Guitar)
Jon Spencer (Guitar), (Drums), (Theremin), (Vocals)
Russell Simins (Drums)
Judah Bauer (Guitar)
Judah Bauer (Harmonica), (Vocals), (Casio)


The combination of Mississippi blues and New York noise rock may seem interesting in theory, but this ain't theory – it's rock & roll. Which is why this tossed-off afternoon jam session between the bluesman R.L. Burnside and the ironically named East Village art project Jon Spencer Blues Explosion ultimately degenerates into a sludge pile of pointlessness. The 70-year-old Burnside's music is known for the spell he casts as his guitar riffs unfold around a pounding Bo Diddley-style beat. But here, Burnside's spell is constantly obliterated under the weight of guitarist Spencer's lumbering, one-string fuzz bombs. The Blues Explosion muscle-riff their way into the opening track, "Goin' Down South," in a haze of distortion that dominates the subtle chaos of the original version, on Burnside's 1994 album, Too Bad Jim. And when Spencer blurts out the occasional vocal in an Ivy League approximation of Elvis Presley – as he does in his duet with Burnside on "Boogie Chillen" or in the out-of-control finale, "Have You Ever Been Lonely" – the results are downright embarrassing. Several tracks end abruptly in midjam. Spencer and his gang apparently employed the Guided by Voices approach to mixing the record – cutting tracks just as the essence of a song appears. It's a contrivance that may work for GBV's smart pop but not for Burnside's slow-building blues. The bluesman's seething, hypnotic vibe manages to burn through on a few tracks – in spite of Spencer's interference. "Poor Boy" and "Shake 'Em on Down" find the Blues Explosion's Judah Bauer, on harmonica, and Russell Simins, on drums, actually locking in with Burnside momentarily before the songs end without resolution. On a marginally interesting note, Spencer's romanticizing of sleaze brings out a down-and-dirty aspect of Burnside that's only implicit on the bluesman's previous recordings. For example, when Spencer bum-rushes Burnside's rambling. Stagger Lee-like tale of drunken abandon in the nearly six-minute-long "The Criminal Inside Me," requesting spare change, the bluesman answers annoyedly, "If you don't get outta my face quick/I'm goin' kick your ass, you son of a bitch." It's a joke, of course, but Burnside's tone suggests he means it. (RS 741) , © Mark Kemp, Aug 22, 1996, © 2008 Rolling Stone
Although he had been playing for years, it wasn't until the 1990s that R.L. Burnside's raw electrified Delta blues were heard by a wide audience. His new fans celebrated his wild, unbridled energy, so it made sense for him to team with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the warped indie rock band that's all about energy. However, the very purists who celebrate Burnside hate Spencer, believing that the latter mocks the blues. As the blistering Ass Pocket of Whiskey proves, Spencer may not treat the blues with reverence, but he and his band capture the wild essence of juke-joint blues. And that makes them the perfect match for Burnside, who knows his history but isn't burdened by it. Together, Burnside and the Blues Explosion make raw, scintillating, unvarnished blues that positively burns © Thom Owens, All Music Guide
Q (9/96, p.110) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...Burnside matches every fuzz buzz and slide squeal with his own equally gritty axework, slugging out, ducking between, and coughing up his vocals from their phlegmy roost....The blues blister is scuffed until it burts."

Alternative Press (11/96, p.70) - 5 (out of 5) - "...R.L. exhibits a raw brilliance that makes you wonder if he made a deal with the devil...And when the man shouts, "We're gonna boogie,"...you know it's not just a command but an inevitability."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.55) - Ranked #88 in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics" -- "Bloody-minded and belligerent, they blow their stacks in a boogie frenzy..."


North Mississippi guitarist R.L. Burnside was one of the paragons of state-of-the-art Delta juke joint blues. The guitarist, singer and songwriter was born November 23, 1926 in Oxford, MS, and made his home in Holly Springs, in the hill country above the Delta. He lived most of his life in the Mississippi hill country, which, unlike the Delta region, consists mainly of a lot of small farms. He learned his music from his neighbor, Fred McDowell, and the highly rhythmic style that Burnside plays is evident in McDowell's recording as well. Despite the otherworldly country-blues sounds put down by Burnside and his family band, known as the Sound Machine, his other influences are surprisingly contemporary: Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Lightnin' Hopkins. But Burnside's music is pure country Delta juke joint blues, heavily rhythm-oriented and played with a slide. It wasn't until the 1990's that he began hitting full stride with tours and his music, thanks largely to the efforts of Fat Possum Records. The label has issued recordings made by a group of Burnside's peers, including Junior Kimbrough, Dave Thompson and others. Up until the mid-'80s, Burnside was primarily a farmer and fisherman. After getting some attention in the late '60s via folklorists David Evans and George Mitchell (Mitchell recorded him for the Arhoolie label), he recorded for the Vogue, Swingmaster and Highwater record labels. Although he had done short tours, it wasn't until the late '80s that he was invited to perform at several European blues festivals. In 1992, he was featured alongside his friend Junior Kimbrough (whose Holly Spings juke joint Burnside lives next to), in a documentary film, Deep Blues. His debut recording, Bad Luck City, was released that same year on Fat Possum Records. Burnside has a second record out on the Oxford-based Fat Possum label, Too Bad Jim (1994). These recordings showcase the raw, barebones electric guitar stylings of Burnside, and on both recordings he's accompanied by a small band, which includes his son Dwayne on bass and son-in-law Calvin Jackson on drums, as well as guitarist Kenny Brown. Both recordings also adequately capture the feeling of what it must be like to be in Junior Kimbrough's juke joint, where both men played this kind of raw, unadulterated blues for over 30 years. This is the kind of downhome, backporch blues played today as it has been for many decades. In 1996, Burnside teamed with indie-rocker Jon Spencer to cut A Ass Pocket O' Whiskey for the hip Matador label; he returned to Fat Possum in 1998 for the more conventional Come on In. As Burnside had been recording intermittently since the late '60s a spate of re-issues and live recordings began to appear in the 2000's. Chief among them were Mississippi Hill Country Blues, largely recorded in the Netherlands in the 1980s; First Recordings, which gathered 14 of George Mitchell's 1967 field recordings of Burnside in Coldwater, MS; a live set documenting a west coast tour Burnside on Burnside appeared in 2001. His next studio album Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down appeared in 2000 but it would be another 4 years before the next new R.L. Burnside recording Bothered Mind was released. That same year Burnside suffered a heart attack and underwent bypass surgery. He never fully recovered from the attack and in 2005, at the age of 79, R.L. Burnside passed away in a Memphis, TN hospital. © Richard Skelly, All Music Guide


Anonymous said...

link is dead, will you please re-post, thanks a lot

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Anonymous. You can find album @
All credit to that blog