Junior Kimbrough Biography

David Kimbrough, 28 July 1930, Hudsonville, Mississippi, USA, d. 17 January 1998, Holly Springs, Mississippi, USA. Kimbrough described his music as ‘cottonpatch blues’ but commentators preferred to see it as the resurgence of the ‘juke joint’ style, once synonymous with Frank Frost, of which Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside are the finest recent exponents. His synthesis of the North Mississippi hill country musical tradition relied upon minimal instrumentation, mesmeric repetition and the seemingly random but instinctive orchestration of basic blues disciplines. Picking up his brother’s guitar at the age of eight, Kimbrough absorbed the music of neighbours Mississippi Fred McDowell and Eli Green, became part of their circle and played for parties and jukes until his untimely death in 1998. Cited by rockabilly artist Charlie Feathers and others as a major influence and thus, by inference, vital to the creation of the ‘Sun sound’, Kimbrough organized his own parties in and around Holly Springs from the mid-60s, backed by the Soul Blues Boys, a band that consisted of members of his and Burnside’s families. He was filmed at the Chewalla Rib Shack for Robert Palmer’s film documentary Deep Blues and ‘Jr. Blues’ was featured on the soundtrack album. Both subsequent albums predominantly featured his own songs, which relied heavily upon the recognizable ‘floating’ verses associated with the area.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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