Album: Various Artists

Sunday Nights: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough, FAT POSSUM
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Though his juke joint in Chulahoma, Mississippi, drew blues pilgrims from far and wide, Junior Kimbrough didn't make an album until he was 62. Six years and six albums later, he suffered a fatal stroke in 1998; his club burned to the ground two years later, but the legacy of his fetid, hypnotic blues drones lingers on in his growing influence over a range of young musicians, many of whom feature on this tribute album. Spiritualized turn "Sad Days Lonely Nights" into a trance throb that's relatively faithful to the spirit, if not the sound, of Kimbrough's original. Others are less distinctive: Outrageous Cherry's "Lord Have Mercy on Me" and The Ponys' "Burn in Hell" are routine psychedelic blues trudges, while the Blues Explosion's "Meet Me in the City" has a relaxed intimacy that fails to make much of an impression. But there are some gripping interpretations elsewhere, notably Mark Lanegan's moving, funereal encapsulation of the bitter loneliness at the core of "All Night Long". The two covers of Kim

Though his juke joint in Chulahoma, Mississippi, drew blues pilgrims from far and wide, Junior Kimbrough didn't make an album until he was 62. Six years and six albums later, he suffered a fatal stroke in 1998; his club burned to the ground two years later, but the legacy of his fetid, hypnotic blues drones lingers on in his growing influence over a range of young musicians, many of whom feature on this tribute album. Spiritualized turn "Sad Days Lonely Nights" into a trance throb that's relatively faithful to the spirit, if not the sound, of Kimbrough's original. Others are less distinctive: Outrageous Cherry's "Lord Have Mercy on Me" and The Ponys' "Burn in Hell" are routine psychedelic blues trudges, while the Blues Explosion's "Meet Me in the City" has a relaxed intimacy that fails to make much of an impression. But there are some gripping interpretations elsewhere, notably Mark Lanegan's moving, funereal encapsulation of the bitter loneliness at the core of "All Night Long". The two covers of Kimbrough's tragic "Done Got Old" are both stunning, too: Jim White opts for a ghostly reading, while the Heartless Bastards' version profits from the unsettling tone of Erika Wennerstrom's voice, which has a high, haunted quality. All in all, a spirited send-off for this late developer.

Comments