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R.L. Burnside with Johnny Woods: Live 1984/1986
     

R.L. Burnside with Johnny Woods: Live 1984/1986

Cast: R.L. Burnside, Johnny Woods

 
R.L. Burnside was one of the last great men of the Mississippi hill country blues tradition. Burnside was a singer and guitarist whose music was raw, spare and hypnotic, but also full of energy and groove, and he'd been playing raucous, dance floor-filling shows at Mississippi juke joints and road houses for years before he was discovered by blues devotees and

Overview

R.L. Burnside was one of the last great men of the Mississippi hill country blues tradition. Burnside was a singer and guitarist whose music was raw, spare and hypnotic, but also full of energy and groove, and he'd been playing raucous, dance floor-filling shows at Mississippi juke joints and road houses for years before he was discovered by blues devotees and underground rock fans in the 1990s. While best known for his electric music, Burnside was a capable acoustic guitarist as well, and recorded a handful of early sessions devoted to country blues in the traditional style. Swingmaster Records, a jazz and blues specialists label based in the Netherlands, released some early recordings by Burnside and arranged for him to tour Europe; during his visits there, he played informal acoustic concerts at Swingmaster's retail shop which were videotaped for later broadcast. R.L. Burnside with Johnny Woods: Live 1984/1986 features two acoustic shows from Burnside: a solo set recorded in 1986, and a duo performance with singer and harmonica player Johnny Woods taped in 1984.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
For many blues fans, the dilemma of this DVD release is balancing expectations with what you actually get. When R.L. Burnside rose from obscurity to become a star on the blues scene in the 1990s, he did so with a series of albums for Fat Possum Records in which he played rough and tumble electric blues that merged the hypnotic guitar lines of Mississippi Fred McDowell with the deep, elemental grooves of John Lee Hooker and the ragged energy of Hound Dog Taylor, and the result was music that was firmly rooted in blues tradition but wild and raucous enough to appeal to rock fans (especially after Burnside cut an album with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion). However, Burnside's earliest recordings were of acoustic performances, mainly because that was what was expected from rural Mississippi blues artists, and the two performances featured here document him playing traditional rural blues tunes on acoustic guitar. Burnside plays and sings quite well on these sessions, but this simply doesn't capture him doing what he does best, and it doesn't help that this DVD leads off with a 1986 session with Burnside either playing solo or with occasional accompaniment by Dutch guitarist Fred Reining; here Burnside sounds a little stiff and doesn't always seem comfortable with the material. The other show, in which Burnside jams with harmonica man Johnny Woods (who played with Fred McDowell in his heyday) is looser and significantly more enjoyable; Burnside and Woods have fun bouncing lines off one another, and if the performances aren't technically stellar (either in terms of musical or recording technique), they come a lot closer to capturing the emphatic juke joint sound that made Burnside famous. Live 1984/1986 will certainly be of interest to hardcore fans eager to hear what R.L. Burnside was up to before 1992's Bad Luck City first earned him a serious following outside Mississippi, but this is a long way from the music that made him famous.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/09/2010
UPC:
0885016828028
Original Release:
1986
Source:
Felmay Records
Region Code:
0
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]

Special Features

Biography; Discography; Previews

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- R.L. Burnside with Johnny Woods: Live 1984/1986
1. Poor Black Mattie [2:54]
2. Rolling & Tumbling [2:35]
3. Peach Tree Blues [3:55]
4. Skinny Woman [2:46]
5. Going Down South [2:54]
6. I Believe My Time Ain't Long [4:00]
7. Bad Luck and Trouble [4:12]
8. Jumper On the Line [3:56]
9. Ramblin' On My Mind [2:46]
10. Gone So Long [3:02]
11. Long Distance Call [4:21]
12. 44 Blues [3:41]
13. See What My Buddy Done [5:49]
14. Poor Boy [3:48]
15. Sneakers Jam [3:42]
16. Concluding Remarks Mr. Burnside [:55]
1. Somebody's Knocking On My Door (JW) [4:54]
2. Poor Boy (JW) [2:59]
3. Baby Scratch My Back (JW) [2:03]
4. Poor Black Mattie (RL) [2:51]
5. Long Haired Doney (RL) [4:45]
6. So Many Cold Mornings (JW) [3:36]
7. When My First Wife Left Me (RL) [3:33]
8. Susanna (JW) [4:38]
9. Jumper on the Line (RL) [2:50]
10. Going Up the Country (JW) [1:53]
11. Ain't That Just Like a Woman (RL) [2:36]
12. Long Haired Doney (JW) [5:39]
13. Moaning at Midnight (JW) [5:08]

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