Fat Possum, 3 1/2 stars

(KRT) – Of the 36 children the late Mississippi bluesman Junior Kimbrough sired, one wonders how many were conceived as a result of his storied Sunday night gatherings, where locals would make merry to their host’s rhythmically primal incantations.

The artists contributing to “Sunday Nights” hardly form an instantly recognizable lineup. This actually allows the listener to enjoy these covers – many of which are exceptional – without the weight of expectations a contemporary like R.L. Burnside, or an A-list scholar like Jack White, might have imposed.

His harrowing examination of old age, “Done Got Old,” is interpreted in two wildly different fashions. The Heartless Bastards play it with the raw muscle of early Led Zeppelin, while Jim White sings his quieted, sample-laden treatment in an emasculated warble. Other highlights: Spiritualized letting loose a tormented current of noise on “Sad Days Lonely Nights,” the Fiery Furnaces’ reverential “I’m Leaving,” and Thee Shams making like a nascent Rolling Stones with their 12-bar-blues handling of “Release Me.”


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