May 9, 2011

WHO KNEW THEY WERE STILL PUBLISHING CRAWDADDY?:

One Hundred Years of Mississippi Blues: From Robert Johnson to Cedric Burnside (Denise Sullivan, May 6, 2011, Crawdaddy)

“You have to wonder if Johnson was playing for an audience that only he could see, one off in the future,” writes Bob Dylan in his book Chronicles of Robert Johnson, the blues genius whose work is still celebrated, 100 years from the day he was born. Johnson’s 29 songs were prescient in the way they would shape folk, rock, blues, and soul—as was his groundbreaking style of playing and singing them—and this week marks the beginning of his centennial year. Had he not died in 1938 at the age of 27, Johnson would be turning 100 on this Sunday, May 8th—supposedly—since the facts as we know them are still being contested, over 70 years after his death. But as the calendar opens on events scheduled for Johnson’s home turf of Greenwood, Mississippi, and across the country, in his honor we thought we’d look at his blues and revisit the well-worn folk legend about his meeting the devil at midnight at the crossroads, while we also check on the state of the 21st century blues from the perspective of a contemporary Mississippi blues player, Cedric Burnside.

From old-time and ragtime, to uptown Chicago strut, Delta picking, and hill country stomp, the root of all blues can be found in Johnson’s songs, which have served all forms of folk, rock, and even soul-jazz; he has survived homages by artists diverse as the Allman Brothers and the Rolling Stones, to Gil Scott Heron, the White Stripes and Keb’ Mo’, and satirists like Tenacious D. Indeed there is something supernatural about the way Johnson’s music, as well as the Faustian myth surrounding him, has survived time, outstretching the work of musicians from here to Yazoo, but there is obviously more to his achievements than a simple midnight pact made on the hallowed ground where Highways 61 and 49 now stand.


The real juju was displayed withstanding Ralph Macchio.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Posted by at May 9, 2011 5:36 AM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« OTHER THAN THAT HOW DID YOU ENJOY 9-11, MISTER bIN LADEN: | Main | HAPPILY, W HAD ALREADY SHIFTED OR ALLIANCE TO INDIA: »