109

Robert Lockwood, Jr.: Delta Crossroads

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Robert Lockwood Jr. is a blues treasure. Common-law stepson and one-time protégé to the legendary Robert Johnson (who lived on and off with his mother), Lockwood remains a very vital musician at age 85. On Delta Crossroads, the Arkansas-born singer/guitarist again pays tribute to his stepfather with a solo performance that’s spare but powerful.

Lockwood’s song choices seem a bit too obvious here, but his sturdy, avuncular vocals and deft picking on 12-string amplified guitar (a hollow-bodied acoustic) make the familiar sound new. Eight of these 16 songs were written by Johnson, including "32-20 Blues," "I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom," and "Ramblin’ on My Mind ." Lockwood tosses in sundry other chestnuts ("C.C. Rider, "Keys to the Highway"), as well as a few new originals.

Lockwood’s synopated guitar work is obviously descended from Johnson’s style, but with significant differences. For one thing, Lockwood doesn't use a bottleneck here. Furthermore, he executes some changes that would confound most present-day guitarists, never mind a bluesman from the ‘30s. His voice is less ominous than Johnson’s, but it conveys the spirit of a man who’s lived long and hard.

Lockwood makes these old tunes sound so natural. I guess when you’ve been singing and picking the blues for 70 years, you get it right after awhile. A century or so after the Delta blues was born, the music still lives and breathes on Delta Crossroads.


Title: Delta Crossroads | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Telarc Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Cherry ‎– Sakura CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Blow, Strike & Touch CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Through The Glass" CD/LP/Track Review Through The Glass
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "As If By Magic" CD/LP/Track Review As If By Magic
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Enter the PlusTet" CD/LP/Track Review Enter the PlusTet
by Troy Collins
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Left" CD/LP/Track Review Left
by John Sharpe
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Alchemist" CD/LP/Track Review Alchemist
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Stinger" CD/LP/Track Review Stinger
by Joe Gatto
Published: January 22, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.