From Reuters’ Dean Goodman :

Mississippi blues musician R.L. Burnside, who emerged from obscurity in his seventies to become a cult icon among rock ‘n’ roll aficionados, died on Thursday in a Memphis hospital, his label said. He was 78.

Burnside, a sharecropper by trade, enjoyed international renown in the last decade with a series of sparely recorded albums rife with sexual and morbid humor.

Burnside issued his first album in 1967, and toured sporadically. He achieved wider attention in the early 1990s thanks to the documentary, “Deep Blues,” which was produced by British rock star Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and journalist Robert Palmer.

Burnside signed with Oxford, Mississippi-based Fat Possum Records, and soon found himself collaborating with punk-rock trio the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

Their expletive-laden 1996 album, “A Ass Pocket of Whiskey,” recorded in a log cabin in four hours, raised some eyebrows because the cover depicted Burnside with his belt off, apparently about to beat two scantily dressed women.