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    • Imported from USA.
    You might think a collection of bootlegs featuring R.L. Burnside is less than interesting, or maybe even a cynical way for Burnside and M.C. Records to cash in on his current popularity without having to release any new material. You might think that, but you'd be woefully mistaken. A fascinating, scattershot collection of tunes and interviews, recorded between 1986 and 1993, Well...Well...Well offers a uniquely personal window into one of blues music's most gifted performers. Many of the recordings are transferred directly from tapes made in sheds and out-of-the-way venues, with Burnside, often using only his voice and a rusty guitar, playing and telling stories detailing a bluesman's woes. Check out the risqué, boom-box recording of "Staggolee," a traditional tune that Burnside lays into while boozing it up with fellow bluesmen Jon Morris and Curtis Salgado in an old New Orleans shotgun house. Or Muddy Waters's "Can't Be Satisfied," recorded in the same house by Burnside, this time sober and all by his lonesome. He's nursing a cold, and his voice is grainy, his guitar sublime as he entertains himself with a loose, lonely rendition. There are proper live venue recordings as well, like the slow chug of his own "Nightmare Blues," performed to an enthusiastic crowd at the Queen Street Playhouse in South Carolina. There are also recordings taken from performances in Holland ("Poor Boy" in a large theater at The Hague, and two others recorded in a shed just outside Gieterveen, near the house where his then-girlfriend lived) and Athens, Greece, where Burnside digs into Chester Burnette's "How Many More Years" and Willie Dixon's "My Babe." Taken as a whole, this odd assortment acts an illuminating document of Burnside's dusty Delta roots. --Matthew Cooke
    Reviews

    Well Well Well

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