Snake Drive

For your collection of classic albums nobody has ever heard of, add R.L. Burnside’s A Ass Pocket of Whiskey (1996), which is classic for that title alone. Also for what Burnside did bringing blues music up to the gates of the 21st century. I must admit that I actually like aggressive electric blues like Burnside’s a lot more than traditional shotgun shack blues of olden times. Having been raised on blues-derived rock music, this kind of high-leaded energy feels like what blues ‘should’ sound like, while the crackly acoustic recordings of the old masters sound a little alien to me. Palates change, of course, and I know that some things are acquired tastes. But this right here is what I, the modern listener, want from a blues record. Which is why even the most deep-rooted musical styles have to evolve or face extinction.