Sunday, January 08, 2006
Picked up "King of the Delta Blues Singers" today, a collection of Robert Johnson songs recorded in '36 and '37. I would have never thought some noisy old recordings of one man and his guitar could be so powerful. A couple of songs into this album and I was transported to another place and time. It's a muggy night and I'm on a porch in Mississippi, glass of iced tea in my hand. It's no wonder Johnson is regarded as a deity among musicians, influencing such artists as Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Keith Richards, and Eric Clapton, covered by everybody from Led Zeppelin to Red Hot Chili Peppers. It's even said Johnson sold his soul to the devil in return for his skills on the guitar. Listening to these songs recorded in a San Antonio hotel room, one thinks it just might be true.