Junior Kimbrough

Most Things Haven't Worked Out

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While this album lacks the revelatory impact of Kimbrough's debut All Night Long, or a hair-raising number like that release's "You Better Run," and it is akin to his debut in both its packaging and its production values. With three of the tracks recorded directly from Junior Kimbrough's Juke Joint, the sound here is absolutely raw; aside from the ugly drum tone in "Everywhere I Go," it's a perfect evocation of live performance. Indeed, half the fascination in Kimbrough's works are the strange harmonics, "off" notes, and just sheer noise that gives a murky depth to his repetitive looping around a song's tonic note. Even the lyrics are often buried beneath layers of blues grunge, but it hardly matters -- the whole album qualifies as a liminal, half-waking Mississippi dream. Highlights include the hypnotic "I'm in Love," and the stomping "Burn in Hell," which Kimbrough introduces by ribbing a bandmate: "If I die before you, I go before you, I'm gonna be there to open the door -- come on in, brother!" With less than a year left to live, Kimbrough could still laugh at eternity.

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