R.I.P. R.L. Burnside

Published: 2005-09-06
Experimental bluesman R.L. Burnside passed away on Thursday in a hospital in Memphis.

The 78-year-old had heart surgery last year and had been ill ever since. Though he was near the affected area, his death had no connection with hurricane Katrina.

Known as a blues innovator, Burnside began his career in 1968 but played in relative obscurity. Combining traditional blues music with punk and rock and adding electronic elements, Burnside separated himself from some of his more conservative contemporaries. In the 1990s Burnside connected with a younger generation of musicians. He toured with bands like the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and the Beastie Boys.

Some of his most popular work includes songs like "Shake 'Em Down" and "Let My Baby Ride." His last album was 2004's A Bothered Mind.

He is survived by his wife, Alice Mae, twelve children, and whole bunch of grandkids.

Writer: Michelle Garcia



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