Played Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down by R.L. Burnside

Listened Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down — R.L. Burnside | by R.L. Burnside from

I really like three songs, three I skipped, the rest I like OK 😉 I like his roughly sung lyrics, a fumble with the wrong line, that he sounds his age — his health was failing and you can hear it — but that makes the blues more real — especially Bad Luck City when he’s singing about his family members being murdered.

I had an album of Billie Holiday recordings when I was in high school, and that recording of Strange Fruit, where she has to forcefully clear her throat at the start of the song to be able to sing it, is the version I prefer. There’s a Coleman Hawkins recording I love, where by the end of the song you can hear him holding his embouchure together through force of will, his dedication to finishing the song as best he can even though his chops are shot. The humanity enriches the recording, highlights the physicality of performance.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

One reply on “Played Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down by R.L. Burnside”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *