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Junior Kimbrough

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Hudsonville MS, United States (1930 – 1998)

David “Junior” Kimbrough (Hudsonville, Mississippi, July 28, 1930 - Holly Springs, Mississippi, January 17, 1998) was an American musician most notable for his recorded output in the 1990s for the Fat Possum Records label.
His style of modern was marked by its hypnotic guitar rhythms, backwoods singing style and nocturnal lyrics. He was a long-time associate of labelmate R.L. Burnside and the Burnside and Kimbrough families often collaborated on musical projects.

Junior Kimbrough was born in Hudsonville, Mississippi and lived in the North Mississippi Hill Country near Holly Springs. Kimbrough began playing guitar in his youth, and counted Lightnin’ Hopkins as an early influence. In the late 1950s he began playing in his own style, which made use of mid-tempo rhythms and a steady drone he played with his thumb on the bass strings of his guitar. This style would later be cited as a prime example of regional north hill country blues. His music is characterized by the tricky syncopations between his droning bass strings and his mid-range melodies. His soloing style has been described as modal and features languorous runs in the mid and upper register. The result was described by music critic Robert Palmer as “hypnotic”. In solo and ensemble settings it is often polyrhythmic, which links it explicitly to the music of Africa. Fellow North Mississippi bluesman and former Kimbrough bassist Eric Deaton has suggested similarities between Junior Kimbrough’s music and Malian bluesman Ali Farka Touré’s.

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