The day started off with Molly Burch and her band at Barracuda’s. Burch’s sweet, soft country voice is reminiscent of Loretta Lynn. Besides the…Read More
Founded by former Living Blues magazine editor Peter Redvers-Lee and Matthew Johnson in 1992, the label initially specialised in discovering blues players from the North Mississippi region, many of whom had never recorded before. At Fat Possum’s behest some artists, particularly R. L. Burnside, released both standard blues albums and more “techno” albums, done in the style that would later be made famous by Moby’s album Play. This led to a fair amount of controversy among blues purists, a group in which Johnson was largely uninterested.
Many of the early artists for Fat Possum were picked with the aid of New York Times music critic Robert Palmer, who also produced a number of records for the label.
Although their releases were critically acclaimed, particularly Junior Kimbrough’s album All Night Long, which received 4 stars from Rolling Stone and the loud approval of Iggy Pop, Fat Possum was perennially strapped for cash. Word of mouth and artist compilations, such as Not the Same Old Blues Crap 3 (with a cover illustration by Joe Sacco) and All Men Are Liars, gradually pulled Fat Possum out of the red, even if only for brief periods of time. Unfortunately, a legal fight with Capricorn Records, who were to be their distributor, drained Fat Possum’s funds and left a number of projects on the shelf.
R. L. Burnside proved early on to be the label’s biggest money maker. Having toured with The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, he and Jon Spencer’s band teamed up to record, in a single afternoon, the record A Ass Pocket of Whiskey, which further helped Burnside and Fat Possum gain wider recognition. A remix of the R. L. Burnside song “It’s Bad You Know” was also featured prominently on The Sopranos.
With time, many of the label’s artists have died. Asie Payton, King Ernest, and Charles Caldwell died before their records could be released. Junior Kimbrough died in 1998. R.L. Burnside died in 2005.
As the label has developed, it has begun to broaden its base of artists and sign a range of younger bands such as the Heartless Bastards, Deadboy & the Elephantmen, AA Bondy, The Black Keys, Andrew Bird, and the hip hop group, MellowHype. It has also begun to release more archival records, such as George Mitchell’s 1967 recordings of Furry Lewis, Mississippi Joe Callicott, R.L. Burnside, Townes Van Zandt, and others, with covers designed by Chip Kidd.
The label also took a step in recent years to start releasing music from the new lo-fi rock trend, and released music from artists like Wavves, Crocodiles, and Bass Drum of Death. They also have tapped into the indie-folk scene releasing Verbena’s frontman A.A. Bondy’s solo records.
Tom and Adam from UK Psych band Temples joined us right after soundcheck at the Rickshaw Cabaret in Vancouver to discuss, some of their…Read More
Sunflower Bean sat down with us to tell us about a couple of their earliest music recollections that led to a rather heated debate…Read More
The Districts, have returned with their new single “Ordinary Day.” The track was mixed by John Congleton (St. Vincent, Angel Olsen), and is their…Read More
Today, Temples shared a remix for their new single, “Strange or Be Forgotten” by Jono Ma of the band Jagwar Ma. Dubbed the “Even…Read More
Tommy Stinson rose to prominence as a founding member of one of the definitive alternative rock groups The Replacements. Following their demise in 1991,…Read More
American Wrestlers are kicking off their 2017 tour with a new video for “Give Up,” the first single off their sophomore album ‘Goodbye Terrible…Read More
Though she’s a young woman from Los Angeles, Kadhja Bonet’s music evokes a sense of aged wisdom, or else prophetic foresight; fantastical enchantments or…Read More
Bloomington, Indiana four-piece Hoops share their first-ever music video for their single “Cool 2.” An tune packed with lo-fi vocals and jangly guitars, “Cool…Read More
This Summer, Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, Editors’ Justin Lockey and his brother James came together to release their debut album as Minor…Read More
After the recent release of recent 7″ single “Don’t Hold Anything Back/Eternity”, their first with Fat Possum, Copenhagen by way of Seattle band Communions…Read More
The Visitor by Kadhja Bonet is nothing short of immersive. The LA singer, writer and producer crafts a hauntingly sweet and other-worldly soundscape, of…Read More