When David "Junior" Kimbrough was a young man, he made a conscious decision that "Junior was only going to play Junior." In doing so, this seminal blues guitarist and singer originated and developed his own driving, pulsing, hypnotic style of blues that is all Juniorís.
"Meet Me In the City" captures the force and power of Juniorís music with its raw intensity intact, mesmerizing the listener like a melodious opiate. Crank up your stereo, shut your eyes, and try to catch the phrasing, youíll soon be completely lost in the polyphony. Junior will draw you into his music and keep you thereÖ.heíll hypnotize you with his driving rhythm and seemingly simple yet deceptively complex phrasing of his guitar and powerful voice.
The second of two posthumous releases by Fat Possum (Mr. Kimbrough passed away January 17, 1998 ), "Meet Me In the City" contains four compositions recorded at home, one recorded at Lunati Farms, and three selections recorded live at the 1993 Sunflower Blues Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
The choicest cuts on this CD are the unparalleled live versions of "I Feel Alright," "All Night Long," and "Nobody But You," recorded at the Sunflower Blues Festival. Junior is joined by his regular band, his son, Kenny Malone on the drums, and Gary Burnside on bass. They lay down the groove on the three Kimbrough standards and then proceed to absolutely tear them up. The sound quality is good and the mood of the festival is captured quite well.
I must mention that there are a few sound quality problems on the home recordings. It isnít so bad on the first song or two but until you get used to it, a buzzing noise may distract you on "Baby Please Donít Leave Me" and "Lonesome Road." Now donít get me wrong, the laid back intensity and raw energy emanating from Junior more than make up for any lack of fidelity so itís a small price to pay for the underlying treasures.
If you live for the music and want an intimate sitting with the real deal, this is a great CD. The mesmeric intensity of the home and live recorded versions are what make "Meet Me In the City" a prize acquisition. Listening to an original play originals is truly a special experience and David "Junior" Kimbrough is most definitely, an original.
1999 Fat Possum Records, P.O. Box 1923, Oxford, Mississippi 38655 -1923
Manufactured and Distributed by Epitaph, 2798 Sunset, LA, CA 90026
This review is copyright © 1999 by Stephen T. Davidson, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.