The Music of Robert Johnson
A new BlueTouch show
Robert Johnson was little known in his short lifetime but has influenced later generations of musicians. Four of his songs are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for helping to shape the genre, His name is quoted as an influence by Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan and even Rush and Slipknot.
BlueTouch have been in existence for more than 15 years playing blues music of all styles, acoustically and electrically. Now wishing to pay homage to someone who is often referred to as the grandfather of modern blues, the band took a look at his 29 recordings and 12 re-takes to provide a show that was a faithful performance of his songs for today's audience.
We analysed the structure of the songs, their lyrics, rhythms to identify the DNA of each song; to find out what made each song unique and identifiable as a Robert Johnson composition.
There are certain guitar motifs that were specific to a particular song, and we found lyrics, motifs and riffs repeated in different songs. Our show starts out with acoustic renditions of some of his material, progressing to more complicated and powerful arrangements illustrating how his music has been adopted, adapted and developed by musicians the World over.
Blues has many definitions; from back-porch acoustic guitar music to high volume, hard rocking electric guitars. Equally it can be Jazz flavoured or raunchy grind music in sweaty rhythm and Blues bars.