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Come on and Go With Me

Meet me over in the city
And I see everything is so fine
We'll get together now, darling
- "Meet Me in the City"
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David "Junior" Kimbrough was an Afro-American blues musician known for being apart of the North Mississippi hill country blues tradition.

Born and raised in Hudsonville, Mississippi, he would learn how to play guitar by listening to records by Delta bluesmen. Playing in the 1950s, Junior began to play his own style of the blues, performing a mid-tempo and modal variety of the blues, characterized by droning solos using the bass strings of his guitar and hypnotic syncopated rhythms between mid-range melodies.

In 1968, he cut his first single, "Tramp", for the local Philwood label. And over the next two decades, Kimbrough, who didn't have the opportunity to record frequently, recorded two more singles, "Keep Your Hands Off Her," for High Water and the single "All Night Long" which would be available on the various artists compilation National Downhome Festival, Vol. 2 released on Southland Records and would receive notice after live footage of him playing "All Night Long* in one of the juke joints he had made his name in appeared in the film documentary Deep Blues: A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads.

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The exposure from 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, includingshows in cities like England, opening up for acts like Iggy Pop. After the flurry of activity in 1992, Junior Kimbrough returned to playing juke joints in the Delta, recording much more frequently than he did in the 60s and 70s, he released his second album, Sad Days, Lonely Nights, in 1993. After which Most Things Haven't Worked Out, would follow in 1997, and a year later Kimbrough returned with God Knows I Tried, the last record he would release in his lifetime. He would die of a heart attack on January 17, 1998.

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Discography

  • All Night Long (1992)
  • Sad Days Lonely Nights (1994)
  • Do the Rump! (1997)
  • Most Things Haven't Worked Out (1997)
  • God Knows I Tried (1998)
  • Meet Me in the City (posthumous) (1999)
  • You Better Run: The Essential Junior Kimbrough (compilation) (2002)
  • First Recordings (EP) (archival, recorded in 1966, released 2009)

Tropes pertaining to the work of Junior Kimbrough

  • Cool Old Guy
  • Dirty Old Man: With songs like "Pull Your Clothes Off" and "All Night Long", he can end up embodying this.
  • Short-Lived Big Impact: Although he would perform for over three decades, he wouldn't necessarily begin recording regularly until the early 90s, making his catalogue quite small. However, that catalogue would go on to influence later blues artists such as Buddy Guy and The Black Keys. The latter of which would record an EP of covers of Kimbrough's songs called Chulahoma: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough.


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