Monday, July 24, 2017

Don't let the devil lay a finger on you, baby

“You might, from your appearance, be the wife of Lucifer,” said Miss Pross, in her breathing. “Nevertheless, you shall not get the better of me. I am an Englishwoman.”
~Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

A number of songs have conversations with the Devil (or appearances by him). For Music Monday:

Now here's a story you might not have heard (unless you're my dad)... blues guitarist Robert Johnson was said to have sold his soul to the Devil at a crossroads at midnight in exchange for his musical genius. Read about the legend here.

A post featuring blues as poetry (for Father's Day)


Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Love this!

Pop said...

Really enjoyed Josh Farrow's song...excellent Blues. At first I wondered why he recorded his song at a car dealership, but the acoustics there were great!

As for the myth of Robert Johnson at the's an excerpt from a lecture I gave once about the beginnings of the Blues.

"Robert never tried to correct any parts of the legend that grew around him...he loved the mystique, actually. But the reality was that Robert worked really hard to learn his craft, and he was really good at picking up elements from the players he came across.

Perhaps his greatest biggest influence was, however, from a musician named Ike Zinneman, who reportedly practiced late at night sitting on a tombstone at a local graveyard (which, of course, added to Robert’s legend). No one knows what Ike taught Robert, but we do know that after a year or so, Johnson came back with an amazing knowledge of his instrument, an ability to sing and play in a wide variety of styles, and a very precise way to put together songs.