Popular music today has probably been more influenced by the Blues than any other musical genre. It is clear that the Blues has had a great deal to do with shaping the Rock music of today and it’s roots are apparent in the musical styles of many artists such as Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and BB King to name but a very small example. These artists themselves have gone on to influence generation after generation of young musicians and for that Robert Johnson We Salute You.
The Blues originated in the Mississippi Delta after the Civil war and its origins are a product of Slavery and the associated cultural background of African/American decent. Perhaps the most influential of the Bluesmen is Robert Johnson who would have been 100 years old in this his centennial year. Many artists have paid tribute to Johnson and Eric Clapton once described him as ‚ the most important blues singer whoever lived‘.
Born in the Mississippi a century ago Robert Johnson has been an inspiration to generations of musicians. It is rumoured that Johnson sold his soul to the Devil in return for the ability to play Blues guitar and even his death itself is still shrouded by mystery. He created a style, which was both innovative, and truly his own, a style that would form the basis of what we know today as Rock Music.
Throughout the duration of his career he had a surprisingly low output with regards to volume and recorded material as only twenty-nine songs were ever recorded, these twenty-nine songs have had and continue to have a major impact on the way many genres of music have evolved and indeed continue to evolve. The complete recordings of Robert Johnson are now available as a compilation and more recently several tributes to Johnson in his Centennial Year have been released to commemorate the event. It is difficult to imagine how rock music would have evolved without the advent of those twenty nine songs. Johnson led a very colourful life and though his final demise is still shrouded in mystery, this has only enhanced the legend of Johnson and his alleged pact with the Devil.
One of the most popular Johnson tracks is „Sweet Home Chicago“ a track covered by many Blues artists including the legendary Freddie King who joins the list of great Blues legends who have acknowledged the importance of Johnson’s contribution to the music that millions now enjoy.