February 28, 2011
- RIP Eddie Kirkland - August 16, 1923 to February 27, 2011. Guitarist/singer/harmonica player Eddie Kirkland died yesterday in a auto accident in Tampa, Florida. He was 87 years old. Eddie Kirkland was born in Jamaica, and raised in Alabama. After military service in World War II, he relocated to Detroit and started working with John Lee Hooker, with whom he made some spectacular classic recordings. His sympathetic stylistic interaction with Hooker created some of most richly textured down home blues recordings ever recorded. While still with Hooker, he recorded a few 1950s sides under his own name for Modern, RPM, Federal and later Fortune. His version of "Done Somebody Wrong" influenced Elmore James who would record his own arrangement of the song. During the '60s he recorded singles for Lupine and Stax before making his first album with the King Curtis band which was released on the True Sound label. He would go on to make records with Trix, JSP, Deluge, Blue Suit, Telarc, Evidence, Fantastic, and other labels, as well as making recorded guest appearances on releases by Johnny Rawls, the Wentus Blues Band (from Finland) and Foghat. Eddie had an amazing work ethic and would tour constantly. His shows were pure energy, and he always played with a beautiful down-home rough edge, even while playing more contemporary blues and soul songs. He wore a scarf over his head which became his trademark but it also covered a metal plate that was in his head from an old war wound. Eddie Kirkland symbolized the beauty of down home urban blues, and his many important contributions will live on through the ages. To read Eddie's Wikipedia bio, click here. To see Eddie Kirkland on YouTube performing "I Love You", click here. For a wonderful Eddie Kirkland discography, click here.