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Junior Kimbrough: Meet Me in the City

Ed Kopp By

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Along with his neighbor R.L. Burnside, the late Junior Kimbrough may have been one of the last of the old-school Mississippi bluesmen. Kimbrough died of heart failure last year at age 67.

A popular singer and guitarist in northeast Mississippi, Kimbrough turned his house into a juke joint that became such a hot spot he was forced to rent an apartment. The critic Robert Palmer featured Kimbrough in the film Deep Blues, which led to the bluesman's first and best album, All Night Long, considered a '90s classic by most critics.

Kimbrough had a hypnotic guitar style that coordinated well with his brooding vocals and chunky grooves. Raw as Kimbrough's music was, it possessed a depth of feeling that seemed far more genuine than most blues.

Meet Me is billed as a "live" album, but its first four tracks are crude solo cuts that Kimbrough recorded at home. Though the sound quality is poor, there's an exotic feel to these tunes that may actually be enhanced by the murky sound, particularly on "Lonesome Road." The final half of the album possesses much better sound quality and features some full-band tracks recorded in a true live setting. Three of these songs are live versions of tunes from All Night Long, including the rolling "I Feel Alright." The ambience here is of a loose community gathering, and the music churns along with raucous intensity.

Meet Me in the City is hardly Junior Kimbrough's best album, but it's an intriguing collection of earthy electric blues from a true original

TRACKS: Meet Me In The City; Done Got Old; Baby Please Don't Leave; Lonesome Road; Junior's; I Feel Alright; All Night Long; Nobody But You

PLAYERS: Junior Kimbrough (guitar, vocals); Kenny Malone (drums); Gary Burnside (bass)

| Record Label: Fat Possum Records | Style: Blues


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