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First Recordings

R. L. BurnsideAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Price: $15.55 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 14 Songs, 2003 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2003 $15.55  
Vinyl, 2008 $14.55  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Bird Without A Feather 3:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Goin' Down South 2:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Come On In 1:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Little Babe 2:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Rollin' and Tumblin' 3:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Jumper on the Line 2:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Skinny Woman 2:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Poor Black Mattie 2:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Long Haired Doney 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Peaches 2:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Walkin' Blues 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Hobo Blues 2:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. My Time Ain't Long 2:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Sat Down on My Bed and Cried 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

First Recordings + Burnside on Burnside + Come On In
Price for all three: $43.12

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  • Burnside on Burnside $13.62
  • Come On In $13.95

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 10, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 1968
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fat Possum Records
  • ASIN: B00009IB1I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,486 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Today, at age 77, this popular North Mississippi singer-guitarist is a master of dirty juke-joint blues. But Burnside was a farm hand when these late ’60s recordings captured him developing his staples "Goin’ Down South," "Jumper On the Line," "Poor Black Mattie," and "Long Haired Doney"--and his playing style--in bare-boned acoustic form. Burnside practically cries over the roiling John Lee Hooker-influenced guitar lines of the heartbroken "Like a Bird Without a Feather," which he’s never again recorded, winning sympathy until he admits that he murdered his lost lover. In "Skinny Woman," covered recently by the North Mississippi Allstars, he offsets the rippling picking style associated with John Hurt by beating his knuckles against his six-string’s body. Burnside’s slide on "Walkin’ Blues" favors the low strings until his solo stabs into the high register with keening, measured authority, matching the sweet and dusty tones of his voice, which then possessed a youthful flexibility that wrung all sorts of nuances from these 14 songs. --Ted Drozdowski

Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
3 star
2 star
1 star
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well, well well January 25, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Basically, this album is a must for any blues fan. I bought his recent live album "Burnside on Burnside" and thought that was good, until i heard just how good his early recordings were. His songs capture the feeling of the blues in the same way that Robert Johnson could. His simple single guitar and vocals style is in many ways right at the heart of the blues. And this older recording is incredibly high quality. Great, early blues music by a musician who had incredible staying power.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Blues CD EVER November 27, 2004
Format:Audio CD
I can't say enough about this CD, I can't get enough of it and ended up buying all the Burnside I could get my hands on. I don't understand why this guy isn't HUGE. Bird Without a Feather is the best blues song I've ever heard. Deep, raw, hypnotic Mississippi delta solo acoutic blues.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
this cd is the kind of thing that can get you lost on your way home from work. literally. one wrong turn around this place and im out twenty minutes. burnside just sucks you in and there's nothing you can do about it. emotion to rival 'a love supreme'. backhand to the cheek. swagger.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Acoustic Guitar Playing July 30, 2004
Format:Audio CD
If you like R.L.'s guitar playing than this is the album for you. Man R.L. could play when he was that age, this THE best Cd to showcase R.L.'s Guitar playing. His voice isn't as good as it is now, but you won't care about that once you here his guitar. He does good Versons of his later standers like "Skinny women" and "Jumper hangin' on the line". Plus he does a great version of "My Baby" which is titled here "Little Baby". Oh and for all you guitar players. Burside drops his guitar a whole step for this album.

Oh and P.S. R.L. DID record "Bird Without a Feather" again. It is recorded under the title "Lost Without Your Love" on his Mississippi Hill Country Blues album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising, indispensable acoustic blues March 12, 2012
Format:Audio CD
This is the most arresting acoustic blues album I have heard in the last 10 years, if not ever.

Imagine the percussive, driving blues of John Lee Hooker, combine that with the hollering style of the 1930's bluesmen (early Son House, Blind Lemon Jefferson), and add some raw passion and integrity, and you'll begin to appreciate what this album sounds like. Be warned that this album is nothing like RL's more recent work (as good as that is) - it is pure, solitary acoustic work by an (at the time) undiscovered gem, which clearly shows where his later trademark sound (as showcased on "Burnside on Burnside") originated, but should be judged on its own merits. As far as I'm concerned, it blows his later work away.

This is not a filler or the result of someone trying to cash in on RL's later fame by releasing earlier throw-away work - it is a work of startling originality, which should be part of any blues lover's collection. Believe me, it really is that good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real good stuff October 22, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Mr. Burnside's playing and singing is some damn fine blues. I definitely picked up a winner when I bought this gem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best RL recording. March 8, 2009
Format:Audio CD
Oddly enough I stumbled across RL back in the 90's while I was working on some stuff on the bench and MTV2 was on the TV in the background believe it or not playing music videos. I wasn't paying much attention to what was on then all of a sudden this song catches my attention. I turned around to watch the video and catch the song name and artist. I believe it was Let My Baby Ride from the Come on In album. Well within a few days I found the Come on In cd and I have been hooked on RL ever since.

I like pretty well anything from RL but the First Recordings is my favorite by far. I really wish I would have made an effort to go watch RL play live. It is sad that RL and many others didn't become popular or even known until late in life because there aren't making them like these guys anymore.

If you like real blues and don't have this CD don't give it a second thought pick it up and wear it out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a Freakin 10... April 11, 2008
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
I hunt for music, and the hunt leads down paths that dead-end, aren't my thing, or whatever, but sometimes I get lucky. I discovered R.L. by chance after following links from a blues guitar instruction book page. Of all the R.L. stuff, this seemed the most basic and raw, and I bought it. Who knew I'd just discovered my favorite blues album ever!

This was recorded in R.L.'s living room one night after another explorer was lead down the Mississippi dirt road to the "best bluesman around". The recording has a raw quality but the sound is very good. But the music itself is spectacular. This is the real thing, no doubt about it. No Chicago blues here, this is raw and droning and hypnotic and tuneful. The guitar work is great, and his voice has depth and expression, and there is no heavy production; you are there in the dark muggy Mississippi night, R.L.'s foot thumping on the floorboards.

This discovery will be tough to top, and it's been in my top 5 CD playlist for months.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare Burnside
A full acoustic set from a young Burnside his voice is full, rhythm contagious. My favorite track is Black Mattie simple and compelling.
Published 11 months ago by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars RL BURNSIDE ( BLUES )
Great old school blues.
Published 19 months ago by Michael o Whitaker
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent CD
This is a must for any Mississippi Hill Country blues fan! RL is breaking it down and showing why is a legend. Get it!!
Published 21 months ago by Joel Wilks
4.0 out of 5 stars RL Burnside - First Recodings
I have only recently come upon RL and man have I missed a lot. I am currently acquiring his early recordings and am very pleased by what I hear. Read more
Published on March 13, 2012 by Doug Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have
Classic RL, solo acoustic captured at his home in his musical prime. If you own only 1 acoustic blues recording, this has to be it !
Published on July 28, 2010 by D. Schaefer
5.0 out of 5 stars King of the Hill Country Blues!
If you pass on this album, you will have passed on one of the best classic Blues albums you will ever hear. Period.
Published on April 29, 2010 by isaac
5.0 out of 5 stars ridiculously good
I don't like blues. Love rock, prog rock, sure I love Zepp and Hendrix and all that. But the straight walking blues stuff drives me mad. Read more
Published on March 23, 2010 by J. Green
5.0 out of 5 stars The Robert Johnson of 1968
I 'm not interested in any fusion of hill country blues with hip-hop junk, so when I wanted to buy an R.L. Burnside CD, I went to the beginning. And man, I struck gold! R.L. Read more
Published on November 15, 2005 by Baberufus
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