Eddie Kirkland

Total Destruction to Your Mind

Listen to Eddie Kirkland on The Hawg and Down on My Knees

Eddie Kirkland Ah, the life of Eddie Kirkland. Born in Jamaica and raised in Alabama, the guitar-abusing Kirkland moved to Detroit in 1943 where he hooked up with John Lee Hooker, with whom he first recorded, five years later. After his debut recordings on RPM and King which were nothing short of amazing, he headed over to Fortune where he laid down the absolutely insane "I Must've Done Somebody Wrong" in '59. The lyrics barely fit the song structure, but somehow that made it all better as master Kirkland wrenched them out and wrapped them perfectly around his totally whacked guitar work, snagging a claim to the term "Total Destruction To Your Mind" a good decade before it was appropriated by the honorable Swamp Dogg. In '61 Eddie signed on to the Tru-Sound label, for whom he cut his first album, "It's The Blues Man!" with King Curtis's band, where he cut Down on My Knees.

After moving down South shortly thereafter, he gigged with Otis Redding, who introduced him to Jim Stewart, the owner of Redding's record label, Stax. Stewart appeared to be obsessed with one of Kirkland's instrumentals, "The Hawg" and he promptly recorded it and put it out. Not long after that, it seems Eddie bought the now-ancient station wagon that he drives to all of his gigs. He's cut various albums in the last forty years, always remaining one of the blues' most atypical performers. If his emotion-laden singing and guitar playing didn't set him apart with style, all you'd have to do is look at the wild guitar strapped around his neck, the turban on his head or the station wagon in the parking lot—fortunately, his music doesn't deem such pleasant distractions necessary!!

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