R.L. Burnside :: Brotherhood Sportsmen’s Lodge, Como, Mississippi, September 28, 1974

We may still be a ways away from gathering in a crowded bar to catch a little live music — but in the meantime, enjoy this downright miraculous 17-minute clip of R.L. Burnside in 1974. Filmed in glorious black-and-white by Memphis’ unclassifiable Tav Falco, it’s a startlingly vivid portrait of the then-thriving Mississippi Hill Country blues scene, with Burnside presiding over a packed house with nothing but a guitar and amplifier. He doesn’t need a vocal mic; he sounds absolutely clear and authoritative, the greatest one-man-band of all time. As good as R.L. is, it may be the crowd who are the real stars here, dancing, drinking, laughing, living. A beautiful moment in time, wondrously preserved. | t wilcox

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