R.L. Burnside

Genres: Blues
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Decades: 1990s 2000s
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23 November 1926, Harmontown, Mississippi, USA, d. 1 September 2005, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Burnside, ‘Rule’ to his friends, was a keen observer of his neighbour Mississippi Fred McDowell, as well as Son Hibler and Ranie Burnett, and learned from them the modal rhythm-based techniques of the north Mississippi blues. To these he added songs by Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Lightnin’ Hopkins heard on the radio. Prior to taking up the guitar, he had moved to Chicago in the late 40s, where he worked in a foundry and witnessed Muddy Waters’ music first-hand. In 1950 he returned south and spent the ensuing years doing farm-work by day and playing jukes and house parties at weekends. He was discovered and recorded in 1967 by George Mitchell, and after the release of Mississippi Delta Blues, was in demand to appear at festivals in North America and Europe. As well as performing solo, Burnside also led the Sound Machine, a band that featured...

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