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R.L. Burnside – Mr. Wizard

I love me some R.L. Burnside.

And anything else from Fat Possum, too. Dayum!

I was gonna write all this up, and then I read this review on Amazon by ‘A Customer,’ and I laughed and had to share it.

All deference to the other artists mentioned, natch…


“A customer
5.0 out of 5 stars
an unstoppable force of nature
May 25, 1999
Format: Audio CD

There is no other description for it: this CD has BALLS. Burnside unleashes the screaming, vengeful ghost of Elmore James to claim the Delta’s muderous retribution on all the Chicago crap that has passed for “blues” over the last 3 decades. I dream that Buddy Guy, BB King, Eric Clapton, Kenny Wayne Shepard, and all the other popular “blues” guitarists are led to a one room shack surrounded by a blinding cotton field on a dirt road deep, deep in Mississippi. Outside RL and his band tear into the groove of “Alice Mae” with such ferocity it sounds like a freight train loaded with nuclear bombs slamming into a mountain. The blasphemers inside the shack wail and gnash their teeth as they beg for mercy for their terrible sins. RL’s cataclysmic howl of “DID YOU SEE MY BABY?/CALL HER ALICE MAE!” summons a pillar of fire from the black sky to consume the shack and lay waste to the world. That’s what this CD sounds like.”

Oh yeah, and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion plays on tracks 2 & 7. Fuck yes.

Pure gold. I own this on CD and on LP. Why do I own two? BECAUSE IT’S R.L., that’s why!


A Sunrise Score

I had a wee dig at our new Sunrise the other night, and came up with a gem.


Oh yes. I do love me some Burnside. This was one I didn’t already have, so I’m thrilled to bring it home.

Check out that price sticker up in the top right corner. $11.99 (CAD) for a brand new LP? That’s awesome! Especially considering I checked the Amazons when I got home and it’s going for $26.19, thus giving me a savings of $14.20! And that’s not including shipping, as they now require $35 before free shipping…

Now, I’d be inclined to think Sunrise had mis-priced this item and I got away with something. But I can also recall buying a Burnside LP at Kops on Bloor in Taranna for about the same price.* So maybe Fat Possum just prices things well so that even with store margins, we win. As a favour to all of us diehard blues fans. Right on, if that’s true, Fat Possum!

Either way, I’m very happy with this addition to the collection. Sunrise scores again!


* I checked, it was a brand new LP of Mr. Wizard for $9.99!

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