Monday, March 7, 2011

Eddie Kirkland dies at 87: Blues were tangled up in the D

Posted By on Mon, Mar 7, 2011 at 11:45 PM

Belatedly, the news is spreading that bluesman Eddie Kirkland, 87,  died in a Tampa, Fla., hospital late last month following injuries sustained in a car crash en route to a gig. His Detroit connection wasn't nearly so well known as that of John Lee Hooker, with whom he played; nor was he as well known as the Hook. But his talent was major, and so is his loss. At the time of his acceptance of a lifetime achievement award from the Detroit Blues Society in 2004, MT contributor Mike Murphy told his story:

Kirkland’s blues & dues

He left Detroit, but he always looks back

Eddie Kirkland is a roadrunner, baby. The 81-year-old blues man lives much of his life behind the wheel, crisscrossing the nation in a 1978 Ford Country Squire station wagon he affectionately addresses as Bodingle. With his guitars, amp and portable P.A. riding in a roof compartment, he’s one of the few blues performers of his generation still hewing to the gig-to-gig, blacktop-gypsy lifestyle. Night after night, he runs down his songs to whatever combo of local blues-lovers the promoter throws on the stage with him, be they deft or inept. And, night after night, he turns them into his band. [READ MORE ...]

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