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Junior Kimbrough

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  • Born: Hudsonville, MS
  • Died: Holly Springs, MS
  • Years Active: 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s
  • Junior Kimbrough

  • Junior Kimbrough

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Cited as a prime early influence by rockabilly pioneer Charlie Feathers, Mississippi Delta bluesman Junior Kimbrough's modal, hypnotic blues vision remained a regional sensation for most of his career. He finally transcended the confines of his region in the early '90s, when he appeared in the 1991 movie Deep Blues and on its Anxious/Atlantic soundtrack, leading to his own debut for Fat Possum Records, All Night Long.

Junior Kimbrough was born and raised in Hudsonville, Mississippi, where he learned how to play guitar by listening to records by Delta bluesmen. In 1968, he cut his first single, "Tramp," for the local Philwood label. For the next two decades, Kimbrough didn't have the opportunity to record frequently -- he recorded a single, "Keep Your Hands Off Her," for High Water and his "All Night Long" was available on the various artists compilation National Downhome Festival, Vol. 2 released on Southland Records.

During the '70s and '80s, Kimbrough played juke joints throughout Mississippi, which is where music journalist Robert Palmer discovered him in the late '80s. Palmer featured Kimbrough in his documentary film Deep Blues. The exposure in the movie led to a national record contract for Kimbrough -- he signed with Fat Possum and released his first full-length album, All Night Long, in 1992. The record was critically acclaimed by both blues and mainstream publications, as was Deep Blues and its accompanying soundtrack. All of the media attention led to performances outside of the Delta, including a few shows in England. After the flurry of activity in 1992, Junior Kimbrough returned to playing juke joints in the Delta, recording occasionally -- he released his second album, Sad Days, Lonely Nights, in 1993. Most Things Haven't Worked Out followed in 1997, and a year later Kimbrough returned with God Knows I Tried. He died of a heart attack on January 17, 1998.

eMusic Features

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Label Profile: Fat Possum Records

By Marc Hogan, Lead News Writer

File Under: From raw, gutbucket blues to soul, rock and pop with a similar unspoiled spirit Flagship Acts: R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Solomon Burke, the Black Keys, Andrew Bird, Band of Horses, Dinosaur Jr., Wavves, the Walkmen, Smith Westerns, Yuck, Tennis Based In: Oxford, Mississippi Like the Delta bluesmen whose records he started Fat Possum to release, Matthew Johnson is part of a dying breed. Rock owes much of its early legacy to eccentric, mostly European-descended label owners… more »

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Six Degrees of Junior Kimbrough’s All Night Long

By John Morthland, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

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Six Degrees of Junior Kimbrough’s All Night Long

By John Morthland, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »