Recorded in one afternoon in the Holly Springs, Mississippi, hometown of 69-year-old blues great R.L. Burnside, A Ass Pocket of Whiskey documents a single noisy, spirited session with Burnside, his sideman Kenny Brown, and the punk-bred blues reconstructionist trio called the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. The pairing of JSBE, led by a white Ivy League dropout turned downtown New York scuz who poses as a hard-living blues rocker, and R.L. Burnside, the last of the real down-home badass bluesmen of the Mississippi hills, is strange--perhaps sacrilege to blues purists--but oddly appropriate. And the moments of pure musical chaos caught on this record--both cross-cultural and cross-generational--sound entirely within the realm of both acts. With its unorthodox accompaniment (including wheezy theremin and Spencer's trademark shouts), the album is probably not the most fitting introduction to Burnside. But as the oldest man ever to record for the hip indie-rockers at Matador, no doubt he gladly sacrificed juke-joint obscurity for the chance to appear on MTV's 120 Minutes.
His next studio album "Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down" appeared in 2000 but it would be another 4 years before the next new R.L. Burnside recording Bothered Mind was released. That same year Burnside suffered a heart attack and underwent bypass surgery. He never fully recovered from the attack and in 2005, at the age of 79, R.L. Burnside passed away in a Memphis, TN hospital.