In 1968 he was back in Detroit and recording again for Fortune, waxing his third version of the same tune, this time retitled The Grunt. His daughters can be heard in the backround. It's hard to say which version is best, but they're all great as you can well hear. The third time was not the charm, unfortunately, as for the third time the Hawg/Grunt sunk without a trace, and like all of Eddie Kirkland's best sides it is quite rare today. In 1970 Kirkland made his last truly great recordings with an LP on the Trix label. This time he recorded in Macon, Georgia. He wouldn't release another record until 1979's Disco Mary on the Fantastic label, the title telling you why you don't want to hear it. He's cut other records since then but none of them are quite as raw as his 50's and 60's sides. He spent twelve years in the New York area where he performed regularly before moving down to Florida. I never saw him put on a bad or lackluster show. and while the quality of his recordings took a dip after 1970, Kirkland was and is still a great and excitable live performer. He took to billing himself as "The Swami of the Blues", and sometimes as "The Road Warrior of the Blues". He somehow got himself shot in the head. Eddie Kirkland, who with one lucky break could have been a huge star was reduced to making a living as an auto mechanic. He appeared in Dan Rose's flick Wayne County Ramblin' (with an all star cast that includes Iggy Pop, Nathaniel Mayer, and Bill Pietsch, you can see the trailer below). As of late Eddie Kirkland has had plenty of health problems as any 86 year old who took a bullet in his head would. He toured regularly until the last couple of years, appearing all over the U.S. and Europe, but he seems to have slowed down quite a bit in the last few years but he's still alive, and that in itself is no small achievement. Besides, let's face it 99% of all so called "blues" musicians, black or white, are bores, and that's one thing Eddie Kirkland never has been. Wild, crude, repetitive, but not for once second boring.
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