The (A)DAR – Robert Johnson, King of the Delta Blues Singers

Man, where do the days go, anyway?

KotDBS1I haven’t listened to this album in years, and I’d forgotten how much I love it. I am constantly amazed at how well the work of this one guy recording on what’s now considered primitive equipment decades before anyone reading this was born holds up.

One of the earliest documented members of The 27 Club, Johnson spent his life unknown, and as a myth whispered by record collectors for many years after his death. It wasn’t until the early 1960s, with the rediscovery and re-release of his 1930s recordings as King of the Delta Blues Singers that Johnson became a cornerstone of modern music.

I don’t even know where to begin with this album. There likely isn’t a guitar man alive who doesn’t owe something to Robert Johnson. The riffs and chord progressions in King of the Delta Blues Singers permeate modern blues, rock, jazz, folk, country, and I don’t know what else. Johnson ain’t the first guy to sing the Delta blues, but this record is what brought America’s (arguably) first indigenous style of music into the public consciousness of several generations.