By Bruce B Lamb
Robert Leroy Johnson who was born on May 8, 1911 and died on August 16, 1938 was a famous musician of the American blues genre, and is counted among the most famous of all the musicians of the Delta blues category. His compositions have been a testimony to a remarkable and exquisite combination of guitar skills, singing, and talent for songwriting that have widely influenced multiple generations of talented musicians. However, not much is known about the life of Robert Leroy Johnson who died at an early age. Robert Leroy Johnson was popularly known as Skip James Deep Dark Delta Blues Man.
In his early days, Skip James would typically play for small tips on the corners of the street or in the front of a restaurant or a local barber shop. Skip James exactly played what the audience wanted him to and not essentially original compositions, and certainly not blues music.
With the God-gifted ability of picking up any kind of tune just by hearing once, Johnson would have no problem at all in giving the audiences exactly what they demanded to hear. At a music recording session, held in November 1936 in San Antonio, which the Brunswick Records had turned into a studio that was temporary, Johnson would typically perform facing the wall.
Among all the compositions Johnson had recorded while in San Antonio were "I Believe I'll Dust My Broom", "Kind Hearted Woman Blues", "Come On In My Kitchen", and "Cross Road Blues". The "Come on in My Kitchen" song included the famous lines: "The woman I love took from my best friend/some joker got lucky, stole her back again/you better come on in my kitchen, it's going to be rainin' outdoors."
In "Cross Road Blues," which happened to be another of his masterpieces, he sang: "I went to the crossroads, fell down on my knees/I went to the crossroads, fell down on my knees/I asked the Lord above, have mercy, save poor Bob if you please/Uum, standing at the crossroads I tried to flag a ride/Standing at the crossroads I tried to flag a ride/Ain't nobody seem to know me, everybody pass me by." At least 6 of Johnson's blues songs had a mention of the devil incarnate or a certain form of the eerie and the supernatural.
Johnson died at the early age of 27 and with him went a great deal of promise and talent. He had almost singlehandedly made popular the Blues genre. He had this unconventional streak about him when many of his masterpieces had a mention of the supernatural and the eerie and these songs would repeatedly mention of the devil and Satan. Johnson was a trendsetter in the truest sense.
Bruce Lamb has been playing guitar for 40 years and has been an award winning video producer for 25 years. He began producing instructional guitar videos and DVD's with world class Grammy Award winning artists in 2000. Bruce is also the owner of The Guitar Workshop, and the inventor of the Casextreme Guitar Flight Case for airline travel. The Guitar Workshop has Free learn to play guitar DVD lessons sent to the student's door for members who also sign up for online lessons. www.TheGuitarWorkshop.com
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