Robert Johnson Tribute on Woodsongs

Posted on: Sunday, Nov 2, 2008


Celebration of the music and legend of Robert Johnson with Rory Block and Scott Ainslie

Show 502.

ROBERT JOHNSON is among the most famous of Delta blues musicians. His landmark recordings from 1936–1937 display a remarkable combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that have influenced generations of musicians. Johnson’s shadowy, poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend. His vocal phrasing, original songs, and guitar style have influenced a broad range of musicians, including Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, Jack White and Eric Clapton, who called Johnson “the most important blues musician who ever lived”. He was also ranked fifth in Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
RORY BLOCK is the winner of five Blues Music Awards. She studied the blues as a teenager with the legendary Son House who told Rory he taught Robert Johnson how to play guitar. In 2007, she released the award winning CD titled “The Lady and Mr. Johnson”. The recording is comprised entirely of Robert Johnson’s music. She has also released two instructional DVDs that teach the guitar of Robert Johnson and is currently working on a tribute CD to Son House.
SCOTT AINSLIE heard Virginia Bluesman and grave digger, John Jackson play a couple of songs in the middle of a Mike Seeger concert just outside of Washington, DC, back in 1967. He started playing guitar a month later and has now spent nearly forty years studying and playing traditional music, visiting and documenting senior musicians in America’s old-time banjo and fiddle music, Blues and gospel traditions. With four CDs, a teaching DVD on the guitar techniques of Delta Blues legend Robert Johnson, and a book on Johnson’s music “Robert Johnson/At The Crossroads” to his credit, as a performer and a teacher, Ainslie continues to present programs that are vital and entertaining.

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