Johnson is serious, like the scorched earth, wrote Bob Dylan. “He seemed like a guy who could have sprung from the head of Zeus in full armor.” The story at the time was that Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil to learn how to play guitar. The revisionist history is that he wasn’t really the greatest blues musician of his era, he was just lucky enough to get recorded. The response to both stories is simple — just listen to his songs, all 29 of which are contained on the two-disc King of the Delta Blues set. Though he was dead at age 27, Johnson’s masterful writing, with its perfect control of images and emotion, and magnificent guitar playing loom large over music to this day. If you only know his songs through covers by the likes of the Rolling Stones (“Love in Vain”), Led Zeppelin (“Traveling Riverside Blues”), and Eric Clapton (“Crossroads”), buy this record today.
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