122. RL Burnside – “Acoustic Stories”

A pitfall of this review process that I have created for myself is the requirement to listen to the albums in the order they appear on my shelf. Thus I have spent almost a week immersed in the more rootsy world of music. And I must say I’m starting to pine for some rock, rap or the like.

RL Burnside Acoustic Stories album coverAs such, I’m concerned that I might not be doing this album justice. It is a rather subtle effort from one of raw blues’ legends. This is the usually reasonably raucous Burnside getting all soft and gentle, plucking out tunes on an acoustic guitar.

His song-writing is still very good as he navigates very traditional territory – hardship, love gone (very) wrong, poverty – all of which, of course, have got him down.

The playing is sparse. Some of the tunes are pretty funny. The spoken word tale Monkey in the Pool Room contains some hilarious lines, and some gobsmackingly difficult phrases to interpret. He really sounds like he’s speaking some other language.

The pick of the tracks is Skinny Woman. He doesn’t want one… which reminds me of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s views on the matter. Alas he isn’t next in the queue.

File under: Slow and subtle

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