• SumoMe

R.L. Burnside

“Jumper on the Line”

Robert Lee (R. L.) Burnside is the epitome of Mississippi delta blues. Learning from Mississippi Fred McDowell, Junior Kimbrough, and his cousin-in-law, the immortal Muddy Waters, Burnside became a force of his own, eventually becoming one of the most well-known blues artists around.

Burnside, similar to Kimbrough, has a common drone sound to his work. Almost hypnotic in nature, the constant and steady stream of rhythm both stirs up your woes while settling them down to rest. The first time I heard “Jumper on the Line,” I had goosebumps for an hour afterwards. This song really gets to me every time I hear it, and is one of the more powerful blues numbers I know.

Burnside played well into his elderly age, and just for some perspective, take a listen to how his music slowed down but perhaps gained some power as he aged. I prefer the sound of his “Jumper on the Line” rendition when he’s older, but both are great and my preference might exist because that was the first version I heard. Close your eyes and turn your bass up, then click play and get ready to feel some true blues from a master.