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Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down

41 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 24, 2000
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Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down + Come On In + A Ass Pocket of Whiskey
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Imagine a man sitting on a weathered front porch in a rocking chair, telling stories as the sun goes down. As first, they seem like the old-time tales any grandfather might tell, but as the sun sets, they take on a chilling, uneasy edge. That's the effect of R.L. Burnside's fifth album for Fat Possum; it's unnerving, at times downright spooky. Many will wonder if the digital effects featured on 1998's Come On In are here as well. Yes, they are, but less obviously. While electronics and DJ scratches are part of "Got Messed Up," their inclusion is subtle, like unearthly noises heard after dark a thousand miles from anywhere. Though there are some upbeat moments on this album, such as the uptempo "Miss Maybelle" and the satirical "Nothin' Man," for the most part this is the particular brand of Mississippi blues that Burnside and the lateJunior Kimbrough have done so well: mournful, even somewhat bleak, with every sense of hellhounds on the trail. Indeed, as the track "R.L.'s Story" indicates, Burnside's got his own demons; bonus tracks aside, this makes a perfect closing track, a last tale before the children are shooed off to bed. Forget Martha Stewart; this is Halloween music. --Genevieve Williams


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 24, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: October 24, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fat Possum Records
  • ASIN: B00004Z43I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,798 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos VINE VOICE on December 7, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Stood absolutely still, riveted to attention when I first heard this CD. Next step was to find the sales clerk so I could buy it!! It is an understatement to say R.L. Burnside sings with emotion, this man KNOWS BLUES, he has LIVEDBLUES, and STILL HAS HOPE ... tinged with an Alabama accent, he sings with a southern drawl, full of the realities of life. The liner booklet says it best (& I quote): "The last genuine performer of raw Mississippi hill country sounds as well as cutting edge crossover artist the blues has had in the past 30 years." Honesty, depth, detail, raw emotions, earthy statements: it's all here & more! Great lyrics, great slide guitar playing,too. "Too Many Ups" one of the tracks, is a play on words: "You gotta look UP to the man ... too many ups, too many ups, too many upside down", "You gotta cover up", "You gotta catch up", "You gotta get paid up", "Too many upside downs". Some other favorites are, the title song, "Wish I was in Heaven Sittin' Down", "Hard Times", and "Chain of Fools".

Let the lyrics of "Nothin' Man" tell his story:
"I never had a chance ... it never was MY fault. You can't arrest me. I pay the rent. I never wanted to be a BAAAAD person. I wish my mama had loved me. You can't arrest me. It never was MY fault ... I never wanted to be a BAD person." The ambient music contrasts nicely with the words & lyrics, with a shadow of the underside of life - not far off from the truth. This is genuine, visceral music: FAT POSSUM RECORDS have provided us a vehicle to enjoy the music of this living legend of Mississippi blues. They have a great sense of humor, too. Inside the CD is a card to fill out with demographics, and a block of space, with the instructions: "trace your housekey here" YOU GOTTA LOVE 'EM!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dave Combs on October 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Well, if you're reading this you know that R.L. Burnside is one bad mutha who can thrash a juke joint like no one else, but did you know he can apparently bump a block party as well? Burnside's latest Fat Possum album amounts to an official bid towards cross-over success. If you heard his last release, Come On In, you can probably guess that the boys at Fat Possum kept the big beats for this one. For better or worse (mostly for the better, fear not), R.l.'s vocals (which are better than ever before) are backed by a murky concoction of smooth beats, funky wah wah guitar, and murky organ swirls. He doesn't play guitar on a single track and Kenny Brown (his white "adopted son") plays only on the classic title track. Nevertheless, I just want everyone to know that underneath all the brooding funk the blues is alive and well. This is the kind of record that Morcheeba wishes they could make but only a cat who's been around for as long as R.L. has could've pulled it off with as much credibility as it has here. I mean the guy's 73 years old! If he chooses to make a record as modern and diverse as this then who's going to stop him? The blues ain't nothin' but dance music, he says. I agree. This record sure ain't the old time religion and the juke joint stomp is a little more slick this time around but that shouldn't matter in the end. This backwards hillbilly, this blues master from the hills of Mississippi, R.L. Burnside has taken a jump so far forward that he often circles back around and passes himself up. He's got mandolins and old acoustic guitars comfortably next to drum loops, samples, and etheral DJ scratches. ...But it's still got the grit of authenticity that clings to the best blues. R.L.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By jbembe on November 7, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I bought this CD purely on a whim after listening to a little of it in the record store. Needless to say it is a completely fresh and bizarre approach to the blues with hiphop scratches and funky beats. The most successful of these experiments is "Miss Maybelle" which really cooks. This is a fun album that gets alot of mileage and playtime in my player. Check it out!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
An absolute cracker.
RL Burnside has taken another step towards capturing the X Generation's emerging interest in the blues. I could never believe that I would be inspired by a 70+ trad. blues player who has produced the craziest mix of: techno, blues, rap, grunge and rock, with the eerie southern delta howls.
To top it off, RL doesn't play guitar on this collection, but the passion and depth in his vocals is as good as his dirty guitar sounds. Hard Time Killing Floor sets the eerie tone, Miss Maybelle gets the feet stomping, Wish I was in Heaven Sitting Down is the best of Gospel, and Too Many Ups is a scream.
For the baby boomers locked in the 60s and 70s bules rock scene, for the pre boomers who listen to nothing but roots, and for the new generation who are trying to connect grunge and techno to the past, this is the one.
If RL does nothing else, it doesn't matter.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Smith VINE VOICE on November 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an album as blue, as dark, as beaten down as they get - few blues recordings are darker. Masterful use of voice, backup musicians and electronics work together perfectly to build the dark blues ... with an occasional number like "My Eyes Keep Me in Trouble" to move into lighter Delta blues. Cuts such as "Hard Time Killing Floor" - speaking of multiple murders within a short time frame - set the context and tone for Burnside's personal connection to the blues.
Despite the judicial use of electronic instruments, this is traditional blues at its best.
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