”Malm On Burnside” – Mathias Malm
Mathias Malm is a skilled guitar player from Malmö in South Sweden. This is his very first solo project. I must say it takes a lot of guts to cover the late, great R.L. Burnside. Great title too, a wordplay on Burnsides 2001 album “Burnside On Burnside”. R.L. Burnside wasn’t known for playing easy campfire songs. What makes Burnside so special is his rhythmic skills. One could almost say that he set the standard for what became the North Mississippi Hill Country Blues. Many drummers, as well as guitarists, have given up trying to catch up with him. But not Mathias Malm. Learning from records and YouTube clips he has done a great job, not only covering the 10 songs but also garnished them with his own personality. If one is to criticize anything it would be a lack of thumbs on a couple of songs, especially “Long Haired Doney”. But Malm do get the electric energy of the song and makes it rock. This goes for the opening title “Someday Baby” as well. Here Malm brings forth a tight mystic groove.
Then there is the question of why he has chosen to add “Walking Blues” to the list? This wasn’t one of Burnsides own songs. (Son House/Robert Johnson). “When My First Wife Left Me” gives the listener beautiful finger picking and a soulful voice. Burnside’s classic “Goin’ Down South”, a dance tune that Burnside could play in long stretches is way to short, stopping at 1:55.
Malm finishes off with another less known song, the shuffle “You Don’t Have To Go”. Leaves the listener in a good mood and wondering what might come from Mathias Malm in the future. This is an interesting ”must have” for all fans of R.L. Burnside and North Mississippi Hill Country Blues! This record grows everytime you listen to it.
Listen on Spotify.