By Amy Ryan
Updated September 02, 2005 at 05:45 PM EDT

R.L. Burnside’s ”Snake Drive” is one of the raunchiest songs I’ve ever heard — and that’s just for its incredibly dirty guitar sound. (Listen to it here.) The north Mississippi blues guitarist, who died Thursday at age 78 of heart failure, was 65 before his recording career really took off. His aggressive, earthy, hard-rocking style attracted hip young collaborators like Kid Rock and Jon Spencer, which in turn helped him draw a youthful audience. He was the backbone of blues-revivalist record label Fat Possum, whose online catalog of Burnside releases features several songs you can stream in full for free. Today, I’ll be listening to ”Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down.”

addCredit(“R.L. Burnside: Alice Arnold/Retna”)

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