Sad news that Mississippi bluesman R.L. Burnside died last Thursday (September 1st) at the age of 78.
Though taught guitar by Mississippi Fred McDowell in the 40’s Burnside only turned a professional musician at the age of 65 when signing with the record company Fat Possum in 1991 after appearing in the documentary film “Deep Blues”.
Only claiming he played guitar cause “he wanted to” Burnside then went on to produce nearly 20 discs in the 14 years before his death, with “Too Bad Jim” being regarded as one of the best blues albums of the 90’s.
Fame followed with the inclusion of the track “It’s Bad You Know ” on the Sopranos soundtrack CD and his work with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (“A Ass Pocket o’ Whiskey” described as “Bo Diddley backed by the Stooges”) but during it all, though thought to be earning around $100,000 a year, Burnside chose to live in his roach infested tumbledown house near Chulahoma, Mississippi.
If you haven’t checked out R.L. Burnside you can get some free MP3 downloads from Amazon.com
R.L. (Obituary) leaves behind his wife Alice Mae, 13 children and many grandchildren.