Listen of the Week – Blind Willie Johnson

Blind Willie Johnson

Someone mentioned something about modern music to me recently, ‘Modern?  I’m near certain contemporary was what we were talking about but modern, not to be a pedantic bastard but I cant help it, I understand people’s meaning by the words they use, the short of it is, nothing would please me more than speaking about some modern jazz or a new wave of nonsense twist on music that once stood with grace but now lay in pain, sampled or remixed or for me the worst possible fate, a turn to be massacred on the (thank fu*k) waning and hopefully near death, ‘talent’  searches.

Blind Willie Johnson - The Life of Stuff

The Lumineers self tattles (2012) kinda covers both ends as it is of the year and also a piece of new wave country folk rock fluff (I didn’t particularly like it) is inoffensive. Not bad exactly, there’s acoustic instruments, a continuous bass drum beat & some group singing of hooks and choruses (they had a track pedaling something or other on an eon ad, a lot of Hey Ho’s involved) there’s no real reason to get rid of it, but why save it is the question.

Something to ponder I suppose, Does ‘Not Bad’ music have any place in my collection. Bahh! I’m going to route out some something old (I live in the past or just am behind the times, not much of a muchness really). I like the idea that if something (book, band whatever) is being talked about 20 30 40 years after it or they put something out then its probably worth a look.

Blind Willie Johnson, (I’ve just got a Compete Blues at hand and I am shamed) is a man worth listening to, no ifs, no buts, A man singing (and just something moaning) gospel and blues back in great depression era. This isn’t shiny blues. This is a man and a guitar, nothing more (well he does have a bit of backing vocal on some tracks) . I love my delta blues and will speak of them again.


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