Pulled out an old blues record this snowy morning with nothing else to do at 5 a.m. I’d forgotten about it and how much pleasure i’ve gotten from listening to it over the years. You can find it on Amazon from .32 cents to $27.99. Give it a try if you like old Robert Johnson style blues. Can’t go wrong for .32 cents … and then I moved onto a Son House collection..
Robert Johnson continues to become more notorious. Columbia Records recently announced (1990) that it would release a tribute album and documentary video in honor of the late blues legend, heralded as the King of the Delta Blues.
“Roots of Rhythm and Blues: A Tribute to the Robert Johnson Era“
features performances by Robert Jr. Lockwood (Johnson`s stepson), Honeyboy Edwards (who allegedly was with Johnson the night he was poisoned in Mississippi), Henry Townsend, Lonnie Lee Pitchford (a protege of Lockwood`s) and the last official recordings of Johnny Shines (the singer died April 20). The album isn`t so much a tribute to Johnson as it is to the blues` 1930s infancy. It features traditional spirituals, folk songs, work songs and folk blues. Also included are interpretations of Johnson favorites such as “Sweet Home Chicago,“ “Walking Blues“ and “Come On in My Kitchen.“
The album will coincide with the release of “The Search for Robert Johnson,“ a British “documentary-style“ video narrated by well known delta style blues musician John Hammond Jr., son of the late Columbia Records talent scout John Hammond.
In the video, Hammond traverses the delta by automobile and freight car, visiting the sites of Johnson`s two recording sessions in 1936 and 1937, and talks with Shines, Edwards and other Johnson contemporaries. Keith Richards and Eric Clapton offer fervent testimonials.