Despite his decades as a juke-joint bluesman in Mississippi, R.L. Burnside's career has only recently taken off. He was signed by Fat Possum Records several years ago and subsequently made a big splash on the indie-rock scene touring and recording with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Burnside established himself in independent music circles as a gritty singer and knowledgeable guitarist. His live shows are sweaty affairs, leaning heavily on a testosterone-laden thematic center.
Burnside took some risks on his latest release, "Come On In." Drum programming and sampling are enthusiastically embraced, complementing Burnside and company's down-and-dirty Delta blues. Highlights include a live version of the title track (of which there are three versions on the album) and the studio-treated blues of "It's Bad You Know."
"Come On In" is an easy listen but a strange concept -- worth your time if the blues truly engage you.