The legendary Robert Johnson (1911-1938) stands at the crossroads of American music. He became the first modern bluesman, evolving the country blues of the Mississippi Delta. Johnson was a songwriter of searing depth and a guitar player with a commanding ability that inspired every blues artist that followed in his wake.
This essential LP contains the most celebrated numbers of Robert Johnson. It compiles 20 master recordings waxed in San Antonio and Dallas, between 1936 and 1937. Originally, most of them were released by Vocalion as 78 rpm singles in the late 1930s. The audio of each of these tracks has been carefully restored for this special LP collection.
Highlights include “Sweet Home Chicago,” “Come On in My Kitchen,” “Love in Vain,” “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom,” and Johnson’s biggest hit “Terraplane Blues,” a popular song on jukeboxes throughout the South. The sprightly “Walkin’ Blues” and “Preachin’ Blues,” with virtuoso guitar work, are probably the most immediately arresting tracks; but the rest of the stuff, while marginally differentiated, possess a collective hypnotic, dark power.
Several songs from this set were repeatedly covered throughout the blues-rock explosion of the Sixties by many artists, notably Eric Clapton who recorded “Ramblin’ on My Mind” on John Mayall’s classic 1966 Bluesbreakers LP, and “Cross Road Blues” with his own power trio Cream on the 1968 album Wheels of Fire. Clapton would later record an entire disc of Johnson’s songs titled, Me and Mr. Johnson (2004).
Robert Johnson’s music still expresses an intense joy in creation. So, more than an indispensable set for