Today is a good day to play your favourite Robert Johnson song nice and loud as it is the anniversary of the day that he died in 1938 at the age of only 27. Robert Johnson recorded 29 different songs in the space of a few months between November 1936 and June 1937, these recordings would cement his legacy as a Legend of Blues music and a Master of Blues guitar.
Unissued test recording from the 1930 Paramount session in Grafton, WI, featuring Willie Brown on second guitar. Although the record was only found in 1985, House’s performances of this song in the 1920s and ‘30s inspired Robert Johnson’s 1936 recording of the same name, which has become a blues standard.
It is an excellent primer in the music of the Mississippi Delta prior to and through the 1920s (these recordings are from 1928, 1929 and 1930). Although focused on known associates of Charlie Patton, it presents an assortment of different styles and creative approaches to blues, ragtime and gospel.
In the background of Louise Johnson’s two recordings on this disc we hear the voices of Charlie Patton, Son House, Willie Brown and possibly another individual(s) spontaneously interjecting in participatory barrel house style as the singer is accompanying herself on piano.