Record of the month club, Vinyl Me, Please, announces the upcoming exclusive pressing of R.L. Burnside’s Too Bad Jim in the year that marks the 20th anniversary of its release. Available only to Vinyl Me, Please members, the 180-gram vinyl reissue includes a custom poster insert (24” x 24”) and is limited to 4,500 hand-numbered copies.
Accompanying the album is a bespoke piece of commissioned artwork by Andrew Gunthardt and a cocktail recipe to complete the listening experience.
“Fat Possum Records is proud to share this special edition of R.L. Burnside’s Too Bad Jim with the members of Vinyl Me, Please. Produced by New York Times music critic Robert Palmer and recorded in 1993 at Junior Kimbrough’s juke joint near Chulahoma Mississippi Too Bad Jim is Burnside at his best, with a family band and “adopted son” Kenny Brown on second guitar. This record and Junior Kimbrough’s All Night Long are the records that started it all for us. So sit back and fix yourself a Bloody Motha (featured cocktail pairing & favorite of R.L.) and enjoy this record.”
“Our main promise to our members is that each month we’ll send them an album that’s essential to any vinyl collection and Too Bad Jim was an easy choice given that criteria.” – Tyler Barstow, Vinyl Me, Please co-founder.
The album described by Robert Palmer, who produced the album, as below…
“Chaos, chance, charm and luck are a primary blues paradigm, of course, and a late twentieth-century scientific paradigm as well. The Chaos Theory of post-relativity physics tell us of Strange Attractors – inexplicable higher-order functions that provide a kind of boundary or shape or structural dynamic for chaos systems – and this model fits R.L’s music as well. The essential character of R.L,’s blues is chaos-on-wheels; it rocks as hard as any music on the planet while spreading sonic waves of sex and mayhem far and wide. But it is grounded in an implicit order: the rhythmic and melodic deep structures of North Mississippi blues.” – Robert Palmer
A limited number of membership slots are currently available by requesting an invite here: http://vinylmeplease.com/request-an-invite/.
RECORD OF THE MONTH
R.L Burnside – Too Bad Jim (Limited Edition)
we burned down the delta tonight with voodoo and tomato juice and a pack of marlboro lights. we set it free. so tell’em we ain’t here and play some half truths on the abalone and bone until the necks are bloody as a m-fer and someone takes us home. until the rest of this bottle is gone, and we admit we’re making each other up as we go along.
play the south right, while this whiskey makes us cottonmouths. keep preaching the gospel of robert, and leave the tabs on the house. because this one is a cyclone, but it keeps on the lights. and we’re all nothing but trouble, still out here picking our fights.
Fat Possum Records is proud to share this special edition of R.L. Burnside’s “Too Bad Jim” with the members of Vinyl Me, Please. Produced by New York Times music critic Robert Palmer and recorded in 1993 at Junior Kimbrough’s juke joint near Chulahoma Mississippi “Too Bad Jim” is Burnside at his best, with a family band and “adopted son” Kenny Brown on second guitar. This record and Junior Kimbrough’s “All Night Long” are the records started it all for us. So sit back and fix yourself a Bloody Motha and enjoy this record. – Fat Possum Records
Limited Edition Stats
Ltd to 4,500
180g black vinyl
Extras: Custom poster insert, hand numbered
About R.L. Burnside
“Chaos, chance, charm and luck are a primary blues paradigm, of course, and a late twentieth-century scientific paradigm as well. The Chaos Theory of post-relativity physics tell us of Strange Attractors – inexplicable higher-order functions that provide a kind of boundary or shape or structural dynamic for chaos systems – and this model fits R.L’s music as well. The essential character of R.L,’s blues is chaos-on-wheels; it rocks a s hard as any music on the planet while spreading sonic waves of sex and mayhem far and wide. But it is grounded in an implicit order:the rhythmic and melodic deep structures of North Mississippi blues.” – Robert Palmer
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 evident in McDowell’s recording as well. Despite the otherworldly country-blues sounds put down by Burnside and his family band, known as the Sound Machine, his other influences are surprisingly contemporary: Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Lightnin’ Hopkins. But Burnside’s music is pure country Delta juke joint blues, heavily rhythm-oriented and played with a slide.
It wasn’t until the 1990’s that he began hitting full stride with tours and his music, thanks largely to the efforts of Fat Possum Records. The label has issued recordings made by a group of Burnside’s peers, including Junior Kimbrough, Dave Thompson and others.
Up until the mid-’80s, Burnside was primarily a farmer and fisherman. After getting some attention in the late ’60s via folklorists George Mitchell (Mitchell recorded him for the Arhoolie label), he recorded for the Vogue, Swingmaster and Highwater record labels. Although he had done short tours, it wasn’t until the late ’80s that he was invited to perform at several European blues festivals. In 1992, he was featured alongside his friend Junior Kimbrough (whose Holly Spings juke joint Burnside lives next to), in a documentary film, Deep Blues. His debut recording, Bad Luck City, was released that same year on Fat Possum Records. Burnside has a second record out on the Oxford-based Fat Possum label, Too Bad Jim (1994).
These recordings showcase the raw, barebones electric guitar stylings of Burnside, and on both recordings he’s accompanied by a small band, which includes his son Dwayne on bass and son-in-law Calvin Jackson on drums, as well as guitarist Kenny Brown. Both recordings also adequately capture the feeling of what it must be like to be in Junior Kimbrough’s juke joint, where both men played this kind of raw, unadulterated blues for over 30 years. This is the kind of downhome, backporch blues played today as it has been for many decades. In 1996, Burnside teamed with indie-rocker Jon Spencer to cut A Ass Pocket O’ Whiskey for the hip Matador label; he returned to Fat Possum in 1998 for the more conventional Come on In. As Burnside had been recording intermittently since the late ’60s a spate of re-issues and live recordings began to appear in the 2000’s. Chief among them were Mississippi Hill Country Blues, largely recorded in the Netherlands in the 1980s; First Recordings, which gathered 14 of George Mitchell’s 1967 field recordings of Burnside in Coldwater, MS; a live set documenting a west coast tour Burnside on Burnside appeared in 2001. His next studio album Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down appeared in 2000 but it would be another 4 years before the next new R.L. Burnside recording Bothered Mind was released. That same year Burnside suffered a heart attack and underwent bypass surgery. He never fully recovered from the attack and in 2005, at the age of 79, R.L. Burnside passed away in a Memphis, TN hospital.
About Vinyl Me, Please:
Vinyl Me, Please is a record of the month club built to create an authentic listening experience around albums. Each month they send 4,000+ members an exclusive pressing of an essential album on vinyl, custom cocktail (recipe), & an original album-inspired art print (12” x 12”). Previous featured albums include: War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream, Thelonious Monk – Paris 1969, & Madvillian – Madvilliany
– Vinyl Me, Please record of the month is responsible for invigorating the vinyl category by securing a sales increase in the U.S. Billboard charts for War on Drugs ‘Lost In the Dream’, increasing it from #139 to #81 on the Billboard 200 – AND placing Madvillain – ‘Madvillainy’ in the #3 spot for weekly vinyl sales ahead of The Beatles Mono reissues.
– Vinyl Me, Please was founded in 2012 , and has a current membership database of over 4,000 members in 40+ countries