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Junior Kimbrough

Junior Kimbrough

Biography

The unsettling groove of Junior Kimbrough's apocalyptic drone-blues is a direct descendent of the murky Delta wail encountered in recordings of Mississippi Fred McDowell. Whereas McDowell was a slide player, however, Kimbrough rarely uses a slide, preferring to pick out abbreviated riffs and slowly build upon them, repeating the main theme and growing it in intensity with a slow-funk rhythm section and second lead providing both a foundation and tangential off-shoots. Kimbrough's records were recorded live, usually in the Mississippi juke joint that he owned until his death in 1998. The recordings increase with a palpable, sweaty intensity as they proceed, much like a jam session. This is true Delta Blues, recorded in the 1990s but with none of the showmanship or soul-sucking precision of the majority of Modern Blues. No slick recording techniques -- just these dark, hypnotic lines throbbing over and over with Kimbrough's wasted voice calling out in a mantra-like fashion.
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