Robert Belfour – What’s Wrong with You – Review

Robert Belfour

What’s Wrong with You (Fat Possum)
by Jon Sarre

Lest Fat Possum give us the impression that every Mississippi resident over a certain age is a guitar-playin’ madman, they release this comparatively restrained set o’ songs by one Robert Belfour. He’s a guitar player, to be sure, but a madman, I think not (besides, although originally from Mississippi, he resides in Memphis, TN these days). Belfour, I suppose, would fall more into the category of “traditional” than most of his labelmates, mostly cuz he plays acoustic and in a more-straightforward, country sorta way. The guy is a great guitar player, that’s for sure. His voice is strong, too, plaintive, his lyrics punctuated with “whoahs” that sound like moans. He’s a throwback of sorts, they say, to the blues before electrification and the shift northward to Chicago. There’s not many left like him, men like Belfour who play the music of the North Mississippi hill country of Fred McDowell, Junior Kimbraugh and Charlie Feathers. They’re no longer with us, but Belfour still plays the way they first heard the blues, soulful’n’earthy’n’unadorned. He’s priceless that way.