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MUSICIAN Born:

Robert Johnson

“King of the Delta Blues Singers” More than half a century after his death, Robert Johnson, the legendary Mississippi Delta blues singer, remains an enigma. A provocative and influential figure in the blues field, Johnson revealed his remarkable musical skills around the age of 20 in 1931. He completed only two recording sessions--one in 1936 and the other in 1937--prior to his untimely death in 1938. Very little was known about Johnson when his first album was released in 1961. By the time Columbia Records released “Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings” in 1990, slightly more information had come to light, but the mystery endures. Like that of other early Delta blues singers, the music of Robert Johnson arose from an oral tradition that began with a mixture of field hollers, chants, fiddle tunes and religious music and ended up as the blues

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

The Archive of Contemporary Music

Read "The Archive of Contemporary Music" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

In Lower Manhattan, sits a musical gold mine. It's the motherlode of recorded music though the small, brightly colored sign above a grey steel door provides only a cryptic clue. The dusty window display of rare 78 RPM records, broken into erratic pie charts serves as a vestige of the past and a cautionary tale about ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Cream: Goodbye Tour Live 1968

Read "Goodbye Tour Live 1968" reviewed by Doug Collette

Goodbye Tour Live 1968 is a snapshot of Cream's adieu to the world, but a panoramic one nonetheless. Housed in a glossy nine and a half-inch by ten slipcase boasting a group photo identical to its namesake title, the inlay with four CD's accompanies a sixty-six page book wherein factual and passionate prose from David Fricke, ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Pete Brown: White Rooms & Imaginary Westerns, Part 2

Read "Pete Brown: White Rooms & Imaginary Westerns, Part 2" reviewed by Duncan Heining

Part 1 | Part 2 1966 was an important year in British popular music. Bob Dylan, performing with the Hawks, was booed for “going electric" at Manchester Free Trade Hall. The Rolling Stones topped the charts for the first time with “Paint It Black." The Beatles, fresh from the John Lennon “Bigger than Jesus" ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Rolling Stones: Let It Bleed: 50th Anniversary Limited Deluxe Edition

Read "Let It Bleed: 50th Anniversary Limited Deluxe Edition" reviewed by Doug Collette

The Rolling Stones' Let It Bleed 50th Anniversary Limited Deluxe Edition is both more and less of what usually comprises such milestone packages. And that's whether it's perceived as a magnificent scrapbook or a veritable mobile museum. There is certainly much more in terms of peripherals included, such as the hand-numbered replica-signed lithographs, a full-color poster, ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Robert Johnson: Lost and Found

Read "Robert Johnson: Lost and Found" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Robert Johnson: Lost and Found Barry Lee Pearson & Bill McCulloch Music in American Life Series 160 Pages ISBN: # 978-0252028359 University of Illinois Press 2003 There are two stories surrounding the discovery and marketing of pre-World War II musical recordings in general and 1930s blues musician Robert ...

ARTICLE: BLUES DELUXE

Summer 2019

Read "Summer 2019" reviewed by Doug Collette

Blues Deluxe is a regular column comprised of pithy takes on recent blues and roots-music releases of note. It spotlights titles in those genres that might otherwise go unnoticed under the cultural radar. Johnny Shines The Blues Came Falling Down: Live 1973 Omnivore Recordings 2019 The cumulative force ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson by Bruce Conforth & Gayle Dean Wardlow

Read "Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson by Bruce Conforth & Gayle Dean Wardlow" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson Bruce Conforth & Gayle Dean Wardlow 336 Pages ISBN: # 978-1787602441 Omnibus Press 2019 There is a wonderful social media meme that applies to almost all of the writing about Robert Johnson before Bruce Conforth and Gayle Dean Wardlow's ...

ARTICLE: THE JAZZ LIFE

To Dream the Impossible Dream: the quest for a music education

Read "To Dream the Impossible Dream: the quest for a music education" reviewed by Peter Rubie

I've been thinking a lot about how jazz is taught recently. I realize now, my search for a real musical education was not a simple thing, but a series of life changing moments. My son, on the other hand, is planning to study music in college after he finishes high school. Though it would fill his ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Patrick Ames: All I Do Is Bleed

Read "All I Do Is Bleed" reviewed by Paul Naser

Lyric writing is an oft under-appreciated element in contemporary music. Guitarist/songwriter Patrick Ames puts lyrics front and center in his rootsy tunes. Somewhere between Tom Waits, The Velvet Underground and Robert Johnson (without the slide), Ames' stripped down recordings are direct a transmission of his feelings, aided by gritty, loose arrangements that give the feel of ...


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