Thursday, July 01, 2004

Eddie Kirkland – The Complete Trix Recordings (32 Blues, 1999)

Eddie Kirkland was John Lee Hooker's main man, accompanying the legend on a number of his finest recordings when they were based in Detroit. Not content with being a second banana, Kirkland has also maintained a vibrant solo career as evidenced by the two records collected here, originally recorded for the Trix label in the early 1970s, re-released by 32 blues as a two CD set.

Some of the tunes like "Hobo Blues" and "Boogie Chillun" were first made famous by Hooker and then Kirkland covered them. There is a mix of songs here, some with a full backing band and some which feature him recording solo in the format his mentor Hooker often used. The solo tracks lend a stark intimacy to the music, textured with touches of slide guitar. The full band tracks have touches of funk and soul; after leaving Detroit, Kirkland moved south and eventually joined Otis Redding's backing band while working on various solo projects.

Since 32 Blues has gone defunct, lets hope that somebody else picks up the Trix Record archives, music like this deserves to be heard.

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