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-   -   The Robert Johnson Appreciation Thread (https://www.musicbanter.com/jazz-blues/12532-robert-johnson-appreciation-thread.html)

Salami 12-12-2011 03:59 AM

Although Johnson could do shredding well too.

Howard the Duck 12-12-2011 05:24 AM

as again, what's there not to "appreciate"?

the guy practically imvented "rock n roll"

Necromancer 12-12-2011 06:33 AM

I personally think that he was very innovative as a lyricist, especially if you consider he wrote them prior to his 1936 and 1937 recording sessions.

If I was to pick one of the all-time lyricist, Robert Johnson would be #1 in my book.

Goofle 12-12-2011 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Il Duce (Post 1131440)
as again, what's there not to "appreciate"?

the guy practically imvented "rock n roll"

He wasn't good enough to play in local bars until he went away for a year or so to learn how to play.

Necromancer 12-12-2011 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomClancy11 (Post 1131482)
He wasn't good enough to play in local bars until he went away for a year or so to learn how to play.

He never went to actually learn how to play guitar, he personally met with the Devil himself at the crossroads and sold his soul in order to be the greatest guitar player ever! :laughing:

mudcat.org: Robert Johnson

Goofle 12-12-2011 11:36 AM

I remember Jesus telling me that story when we were splitting fish between 5000 tramps.

Salami 12-12-2011 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomClancy11 (Post 1131530)
I remember Jesus telling me that story when we were splitting fish between 5000 tramps.

I know people who would take you seriously on that.

Goofle 12-12-2011 11:48 AM

Why so cynical? ;)

Necromancer 12-12-2011 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomClancy11 (Post 1131530)
I remember Jesus telling me that story when we were splitting fish between 5000 tramps.

Where did you actually read that Johnson went off for a year or so to learn the guitar?

Goofle 12-12-2011 12:03 PM

It was in a documentary about the music that influenced Led Zep. I'll get quotes/video on it later.

He basically combined the guy who taught him properly and Charlie Patton's guitar work and made it his own.

Garrett 12-12-2011 12:08 PM

Like most Blues fans, I one of his CD`s

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p...ta_Blues_3.jpg

1. Cross Road Blues 2:40
2. Traveling Riverside Blues 2:46
3. Walkin' Blues 2:30
4. I Believe I'll Dust My Broom 2:59
5. Hellhound On My Trail 2:36
6. Kind Hearted Woman Blues 2:51
7. Ramblin' On My Mind 2:54
8. Stop Breakin' Down Blues 2:15
9. Come On In My Kitchen 2:51
10. 32-20 Blues 2:49
11. From Four Until Late 2:24
12. I'm A Steady Rollin' Man 2:37
13. Love In Vain 2:25
14. Terraplane Blues 3:01
15. When You Got A Good Friend 2:38
16. Sweet Home Chicago 2:57

Biography | Official Robert Johnson Site | Robert Johnson Blues Foundation

Bluescentric: Robert Johnson Biography

Goofle 12-12-2011 12:29 PM

Actually, it wasn't a documentary about Led Zep's influences, I think it was a more specific Blues documentary. It was on Sky Arts 1. Can't find it anywhere :(

Necromancer 12-12-2011 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomClancy11 (Post 1131548)
Actually, it wasn't a documentary about Led Zep's influences, I think it was a more specific Blues documentary. It was on Sky Arts 1. Can't find it anywhere :(

Well at least your making an attempt to prove your theory. The fact is, very little is actually known concerning the life and times of Robert Johnson. I think the mystery that surrounds RJ is what most people find intriguing about him. I will try and see if I can find anything that supports your statement, to be honest, I have to find out if there is any truth to it for my own curiosity, now that you've mentioned it.

@ Garrett, I'm not trying to be sarcastic or anything like that my friend. But do you ever involve yourself in actual debates concerning music, genres, artist, or what have you? I think your around the same age as I am, and your knowledge concerning music has to be abundant. But it seems all you ever post is pictures, videos, and links to internet sites for information. I remember this is also, all that you seemed to do on the Muzicforums site as well. It really doesn't matter to me, and it may not actually be any of my business, but I like to think that MB does have a certain standard above most other music forums.

It can be almost as irritating as the younger members posting "childish" one liners all the time that just end up clogging good threads.

I hope I haven't insulted anyone because this is not my intent. ;)

Goofle 12-12-2011 01:16 PM

The story was basically that Robert Johnson wasn't allowed to play at the same clubs Son House, Muddy Waters, Charlie Patton etc, so he just vanished. He ended up with this random guy (REALLY NEED TO FIND THE DOCUMENTARY!) and came back a genius.

The documentary had an interview with a relative of the guy who he learned to play with (she was white I remember) and talked about how she could hear his style in certain songs.

Sun House spread the "Sold his soul" story in the 60's.

blastingas10 12-12-2011 01:22 PM

I have also heard this story about Johnson leaving - where he went, i don't know - and when he came back he had gotten so much Better. I remember hearing that guitarists like Son House couldn't believe how much better he had gotten. I'm not saying this is true, but I have heard it. I believe it was from a blues documentary that came on the "ovation" channel.

Necromancer 12-12-2011 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomClancy11 (Post 1131567)
The story was basically that Robert Johnson wasn't allowed to play at the same clubs Son House, Muddy Waters, Charlie Patton etc, so he just vanished. He ended up with this random guy (REALLY NEED TO FIND THE DOCUMENTARY!) and came back a genius.

The documentary had an interview with a relative of the guy who he learned to play with (she was white I remember) and talked about how she could hear his style in certain songs.

Sun House spread the "Sold his soul" story in the 60's.

I do remember reading somewhere about him disappearing for awhile now that you mention it.

Thanks TomClancy!
Quote:

Originally Posted by blastingas10 (Post 1131569)
I have also heard this story about Johnson leaving - where he went, i don't know - and when he came back he had gotten so much Better. I remember hearing that guitarists like Son House couldn't believe how much better he had gotten. I'm not saying this is true, but I have heard it. I believe it was from a blues documentary that came on the "ovation" channel.

I think TomClancy stated that it was a blues documentary also.

Garrett 12-12-2011 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Necromancer (Post 1131562)
Well at least your making an attempt to prove your theory. The fact is, very little is actually known concerning the life and times of Robert Johnson. I think the mystery that surrounds RJ is what most people find intriguing about him. I will try and see if I can find anything that supports your statement, to be honest, I have to find out if there is any truth to it for my own curiosity, now that you've mentioned it.

@ Garrett, I'm not trying to be sarcastic or anything like that my friend. But do you ever involve yourself in actual debates concerning music, genres, artist, or what have you? I think your around the same age as I am, and your knowledge concerning music has to be abundant. But it seems all you ever post is pictures, videos, and links to internet sites for information. I remember this is also, all that you seemed to do on the Muzicforums site as well. It really doesn't matter to me, and it may not actually be any of my business, but I like to think that MB does have a certain standard above most other music forums.

It can be almost as irritating as the younger members posting "childish" one liners all the time that just end up clogging good threads.

I hope I haven't insulted anyone because this is not my intent. ;)

I a man of few words, I just mention that I`m a fan and mentioned what album I have and provided what I thought were a couple were beneficial links that pertained to Robert Johnson....My apologies for clogging up good threads. I will move on. Thanks to all!

Necromancer 12-12-2011 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Garrett (Post 1131597)
I a man of few words, I just mention that I`m a fan and mentioned what album I have and provided what I thought were a couple were beneficial links that pertained to Robert Johnson....My apologies for clogging up good threads. I will move on. Thanks to all!

I didnt mean for it to be an insult Garrett. I was trying to get you more involved because I like you. Hell! I nominated you as one of the nicest members here. But if your going to be a little baby about it, don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.:confused:

Garrett 12-12-2011 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Necromancer (Post 1131600)
I didnt mean for it to be an insult Garrett. I was trying to get you more involved because I like you. Hell! I nominated you as one of the nicest members here. But if your going to be a little baby about it, don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.:confused:

I did apologize and thanked all for the opportunity, so there no need for rudeness.....I just don`t fit in here.

SIRIUSB 12-12-2011 03:21 PM

Here are a few facts behind Robert Johnson as they were told to me by Honeyboy Edwards
The devil at the crossroads myth is older than Johnson, Skip James, Petie Wilson, Tommy Johnson, and other older delta musicians already used this schtick, so it was something that Johnson embraced as a gimmick.

He left the area for over a year and when he returned he had become much better, more likely due to practicing and gigging around other parts, but who knows, the devil works in mysterious way!

Every one of Johnsons songs can be traced to older songs, unfortunately Robert wasn't as original as we give him credit for . . . but he did develop a very cool fingerstyle way of playing.

Necromancer 12-12-2011 04:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SIRIUSB (Post 1131604)
Here are a few facts behind Robert Johnson as they were told to me by Honeyboy Edwards
The devil at the crossroads myth is older than Johnson, Skip James, Petie Wilson, Tommy Johnson, and other older delta musicians already used this schtick, so it was something that Johnson embraced as a gimmick.

He left the area for over a year and when he returned he had become much better, more likely due to practicing and gigging around other parts, but who knows, the devil works in mysterious way!

Every one of Johnsons songs can be traced to older songs, unfortunately Robert wasn't as original as we give him credit for . . . but he did develop a very cool fingerstyle way of playing.

I doubt that Robert Johnson ever played any of his songs in the exact same way whenever he performed, since the blues, especially the Delta Blues in the 30s relied on emphasis more so, than any kind of prior formal musical arrangement before doing a show. This is only my opinion of course, and you would more than likely, be more versed on the subject than I am SIRIUSB.

I guess I'm trying to find some solid ground for originality. Whats your opinion?

blastingas10 12-12-2011 05:36 PM

I never thought Johnson was all that original. It's not like he invented the blues. However, as you said, he did develop a great fingerstyle technique, and that is what always stood out to me.

I believe it was you, necromancer, that said something about his lyrics. Ive read that his lyrics have been studied at some university, possibly the university of Virginia. Do you know anything about this?

Salami 12-12-2011 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blastingas10 (Post 1131721)
I never thought Johnson was all that original. It's not like he invented the blues. However, as you said, he did develop a great fingerstyle technique, and that is what has always stood out to me.

It's becoming increasingly hard to be original in music these days. It seems that many of the ideas for new music are already being explored, and being innovative and original now seems to involve taking an existing style and develop in it in a different way, like "Nevermind" by Nirvana for example. Not that the sound was completely unheard of, but the style of music had never been explored in such a popular way.

Necromancer 12-12-2011 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blastingas10 (Post 1131721)
I never thought Johnson was all that original. It's not like he invented the blues. However, as you said, he did develop a great fingerstyle technique, and that is what has always stood out to me.

I don't think anyone is trying to suggest that Robert Johnson invented the blues, which would be completely ridiculous if they did. But I do think there is more to his music than just a unique finger style technique. Are his lyrics the same lyrics the blues artist before him used? Blues relies on emphasizing, especially 70 some odd years ago. I personally would have to be convinced by more than just a few personal opinions concerning the originality and innovation of Johnson's talent before I would suggest or believe that he is overrated. I have actually listened to his music in depth.

And I personally hear the same thing Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and Jimmy Page, just to mention a few have heard, Genius.

SIRIUSB 12-12-2011 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Necromancer (Post 1131736)
I don't think anyone is trying to suggest that Robert Johnson invented the blues, which would be completely ridiculous if they did. But I do think there is more to his music than just a unique finger style technique. Are his lyrics the same lyrics the blues artist before him used?

Oh no, Johnson's lyrics (most of them) were very creative and introduced many magickal themes and references to Vodoun, which I am certain he picked up from his many female acquaintances!

Necromancer 12-12-2011 06:16 PM

Here is a short piece that describes the myth behind the devil at the crossroads. It explains the myth much better than I could personally.

The crossroads is a place loaded with superstitions and stories. Back in the days before the automobile and paved highways, people traveled dirt roads through the wilderness and bayous either on horseback or by foot. The pace of the journey was generally slow and often caused the mind to wander in the trees and shrubs. In a way travelers were much more vulnerable. They did not have the safety of their cars or road side phones to call for help. And as darkness fell, I'm sure that all of the superstitions and stories of evil devoured their consciousness.

Many countries such as the European countries, India, Greece and Japan, as well as people such as the American Indians, subscribed to the superstitions and folk tales of the crossroads. At these intersections, demons, evil spirits, ghosts, Kobolds and fairies were found. It is a burial place for suicides and murderers and a dump heap for parricides. The crossroads is a rendezvous for witches who use this place for Sabbat rituals. Sacrifices were offered to the gods to protect humans from the evil which lurked here.

Legba is a trickster deity and god of entrances and crossroads. He is part of the belief systems of blacks of Dutch Guina, Brazil, Trinidad, Cuba and the voodoo cult of Haiti and New Orleans. In the new world, Legba goes about in tatters and he functions in cult rituals "to open the way" for the gods to possess their devotees. For this reason his songs are sung first at all rites. In the new world syncretism he is often equated with the devil. With this information, we can assume that when Robert Johnson made his claim of meeting the devil, he was referring to Legba.

blastingas10 12-12-2011 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Necromancer (Post 1131736)
I don't think anyone is trying to suggest that Robert Johnson invented the blues, which would be completely ridiculous if they did. But I do think there is more to his music than just a unique finger style technique. Are his lyrics the same lyrics the blues artist before him used? Blues relies on emphasizing, especially 70 some odd years ago. I personally would have to be convinced by more than just a few personal opinions concerning the originality and innovation of Johnson's talent before I would suggest or believe that he is overrated. I have actually listened to his music in depth.

And I personally hear the same thing Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and Jimmy Page, just to mention a few have heard, Genius.

I was not trying to say he is overrated, he's definitely not. I honestly don't know much about his originality. His lyrics are great, I agree.

I was just saying that I've never thought of him as being really original, but I'm not saying he isn't. I've just always thought of him as one of the greatest guitarists ever.

Did a little research and found this:

Johnson's poetry is currently being taught at the University level, in particular, Victor Cabas' "Mississippi in Story and Song" at the University of Virginia.

Necromancer 12-12-2011 09:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blastingas10 (Post 1131805)
I was not trying to say he is overrated, he's definitely not. I honestly don't know much about his originality. His lyrics are great, I agree.

I was just saying that I've never thought of him as being really original, but I'm not saying he isn't. I've just always thought of him as one of the greatest guitarists ever.

Did a little research and found this:

Johnson's poetry is currently being taught at the University level, in particular, Victor Cabas' "Mississippi in Story and Song" at the University of Virginia.

That's some good info to check out later blaster, Thanks.

Sometimes it can be hard to completely understand any certain artist or band for that matter, if you don't transcend your train of thought to the particular era in question.

For example if your talking about Robert Johnson, you have to realize we are talking about prior to 1938 (the year of his death). And the same is to be said for any artist/band in order to grasp a complete and more coherent analysis.

Whether it is a band from the 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s for example. We have to remember to not always think within the modern era of today's music.

blastingas10 12-12-2011 10:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Necromancer (Post 1131830)
That's some good info to check out later blaster, Thanks.

Sometimes it can be hard to completely understand any certain artist or band for that matter, if you don't transcend your train of thought to the particular era in question.

For example if your talking about Robert Johnson, you have to realize we are talking about prior to 1938 (the year of his death). And the same is to be said for any artist/band in order to grasp a complete and more coherent analysis.

Whether it is a band from the 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s for example. We have to remember to not always think within the modern era of today's music.

That's very true. I'm always preaching the same message. For example, a lot of people I know say that Hendrix couldn't play very fast. Well of course he doesn't seem fast when you compare him to modern guitarists, but back then he was pretty fast. You can't just discredit what someone did because it was in the past. No one is always going to be able to keep up with the times. You can't say Robert Johnson sucked because he can't shred like Malmsteen or Vai. He came from a different time period, and he was damn good in his own respected time.

Necromancer 12-13-2011 08:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomClancy11 (Post 1131482)
He wasn't good enough to play in local bars until he went away for a year or so to learn how to play.

You were right on the money TomClancy. ;)

Most popular opinions suggest that when Johnson disappeared, he was actually

"Woodshedding" a musician's term meaning "going off to practice." It's typically used by jazz musicians to suggest a devotion to getting it right.

Goofle 12-13-2011 09:05 AM

Where's my cookie? :)

Salami 12-13-2011 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomClancy11 (Post 1132026)
Where's my cookie? :)

I'm emailing you a peanut as we speak.

blastingas10 01-05-2012 04:20 PM

What really impresses me about him is his bass lines. I play some finger style stuff with open 5th and 6th string bass lines, and it doesn't sound like what RJ does. He does more than just open string bass lines, there's got to be some fretting going on there.

Necromancer 01-06-2012 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blastingas10 (Post 1140202)
What really impresses me about him is his bass lines. I play some finger style stuff with open 5th and 6th string bass lines, and it doesn't sound like what RJ does. He does more than just open string bass lines, there's got to be some fretting going on there.

There's a segment in Eric Clapton's DVD Tribute to RJ. Where he explains that exact example to another guitarist while making this particular DVD.

blastingas10 01-06-2012 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Necromancer (Post 1140522)
There's a segment in Eric Clapton's DVD Tribute to RJ. Where he explains that exact example to another guitarist while making this particular DVD.

I was watching that yesterday. Clapton says he can't play them exactly right, and I think the bass lines are what he's talking about. Clapton is just hitting open strings.

Necromancer 01-06-2012 04:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blastingas10 (Post 1140579)
I was watching that yesterday. Clapton says he can't play them exactly right, and I think the bass lines are what he's talking about. Clapton is just hitting open strings.

I wasn't referring to Clapton actually playing the particular part he was talking about. He was explaining how the interpretation by a guitarist (whoever), might instinctively think its open string, when in fact, Johnson himself had to strike/note the particular open string sound on guitar.

I like the way the video is directed with the full electric band in the first segment. Followed by two guitars. And then Clapton by himself on guitar.

blastingas10 01-06-2012 04:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Necromancer (Post 1140605)
I wasn't referring to Clapton actually playing the particular part he was talking about. He was explaining how the interpretation by a guitarist (whoever), might instinctively think its open string, when in fact, Johnson himself had to strike/note the particular open string sound on guitar.

I like the way the video is directed with the full electric band in the first segment. Followed by two guitars. And then Clapton by himself on guitar.

Could you link the video?

Necromancer 01-06-2012 05:11 PM

I think Garret already has it posted here in (jazz & blues) forum somewhere. ;)

I know he has it, if not. PM him.

blastingas10 01-06-2012 05:38 PM

I messsaged him about it.

is this it?


Eric Clapton - YouTube

Necromancer 01-07-2012 08:55 AM

I'm sorry blaster, the particular part concerning the open string is not on the DVD. Ive read it somewhere or seen on a different video, I just cant remember to be honest. Sometimes I acquire so much different information concerning so many different artist, I often get my wires crossed. :laughing:

The part of the Clapton/Johnson DVD I was actually referring to, is right at the beginning of session III. When Clapton states "Its almost like notes being picked" "But it cant be, its to fast".

Sorry for the misinterpretation blaster.


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