December 7, 2023

Robert Johnson

I said yesterday that I`d write about Robert Johnson; there`s a lot of hoodoo wrapped up around the man, in particular that he sold his soul to the devil down in Clarksdale. Originally, Son House suggested, Johnson was not regarded as a good musician but after the trade with Satan he returned with the blazing skills and blues mastery of a demi-god.

I`d like to post a video here in which Eric Clapton talks about Robert Johnson and plays “Stones in the Passway”. It`s a great place to start exploring what Robert Johnson has to offer and why he is who he is. It also illuminates the sheer technique, the impact of the unusual, that is often confused with something arcane, mythical, metaphysical, divine and otherworldly and more specifically in the blues with superstition, an encounter with the Devil. It`s also interesting to note that the cross tempo section Eric Clapton discusses is a technique that Johnny Winter has used in varying degrees throughout his career. Johnny Winter`s Progressive Blues Experiment album from 1968 is chock full of blues.

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