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Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down

R.L. Burnside

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Album Review

Like jazz, the blues has its share of late bloomers — artists who didn't start recording or didn't become well-known until they were well into their 50s or 60s. R.L. Burnside is very much a late bloomer; the Mississippi bluesman was born in 1926, but it wasn't until the 1990s that he started to enjoy the publicity he deserved. Recorded in 2000, Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down finds the veteran singer continuing to be fairly unpredictable at 73. Essentially, this CD falls into the Mississippi blues category — Burnside maintains the earthy, down-home rawness that people expect from Mississippi country-blues. But Burnside certainly isn't without urban influences, and this CD illustrates his appreciation of John Lee Hooker and early Muddy Waters as well as the Texas blues of Lightnin' Hopkins. Burnside has also been influenced by R&B; one of the few tracks that he didn't write or co-write is a cover of Aretha Franklin's 1960s smash "Chain of Fools." The producers (who include Andy Kaulkin, John Porter, and Brad Cook) try to make that track and others relevant to hip-hop by adding sampling and scratching — and when they do, it sounds forced and unnatural. Some of the producing is simply too high-tech for an artist as raw as Burnside, but that doesn't make his vocals any less impressive. Despite its imperfections, Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down is a generally appealing document of Burnside at 73.

Customer Reviews

Felix The Cat :o)

Great blues! This is RL's story. If you are a blues fan you will not be disappointed. Also check out Otis Taylor's "Definition of a Circle". Blues at it best!

great album to someone new to blues

I don't listen to blues, so i cant tell you how much better RL is then other blues musicians but i can tell you this album will blow your socks off. Buy it don't torrent it, you wont regret it. I've been listing to it for almost 4 years and still can hit me in all the right places.

Truly one of a kind album

This is a one-of-a-kind Blues album. It's likely not like anything you've heard before. After listening too the album a couple of times, it really sunk in how amazing this record really is. Well worth buying.

Biography

Born: November 23, 1926 in Oxford, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

North Mississippi guitarist R.L. Burnside was one of the paragons of state-of-the-art Delta juke joint blues. The guitarist, singer and songwriter was born November 23, 1926 in Oxford, MS, and made his home in Holly Springs, in the hill country above the Delta. He lived most of his life in the Mississippi hill country, which, unlike the Delta region, consists mainly of a lot of small farms. He learned his music from his neighbor, Fred McDowell, and the highly rhythmic style that Burnside plays is...
Full Bio