Back to the Crossroads: The Roots of Robert Johnson

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
In a day and time post-2000 when tribute albums spring up before a singer has a chance to die, much less become an immortal, it's a relief to get an album that switches the formula. Back to the Crossroads traces the roots -- not the influence -- of Robert Johnson, perhaps the most eulogized singer in blues history. These roots are especially interesting to the rock fan who initially came to Johnson by way of Cream or Eric Clapton or the Allman Brothers, because they show how much the guitarist borrowed, adapted, and synthesized the music of those who came before him. As Elijah Wald points out in the liner notes, Robert Johnson copied Lonnie Johnson's vocal and ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
In a day and time post-2000 when tribute albums spring up before a singer has a chance to die, much less become an immortal, it's a relief to get an album that switches the formula. Back to the Crossroads traces the roots -- not the influence -- of Robert Johnson, perhaps the most eulogized singer in blues history. These roots are especially interesting to the rock fan who initially came to Johnson by way of Cream or Eric Clapton or the Allman Brothers, because they show how much the guitarist borrowed, adapted, and synthesized the music of those who came before him. As Elijah Wald points out in the liner notes, Robert Johnson copied Lonnie Johnson's vocal and instrumental arrangement of "Life Saver Blues" almost note for note on "Malted Milk" and "Drunken Hearted Man." Indeed, for those unfamiliar with Lonnie Johnson, it would be easy to guess that he was an urban knockoff of the Delta bluesman. A number of Robert Johnson's vocal inflections can also be traced to Peetie Wheatstraw's delightful "Police Station Blues." The point of the collection, though, isn't to prove that Johnson was a derivative artist, but to outline the rich tradition that he drew from to create his own art. As with other Yazoo compilations, research and sound engineering guarantee a high-quality product with historical significance. Back to the Crossroads also accompanies Elijah Wald's Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues. Any fan of pre-WWII blues will want to pick up a copy of Back to the Crossroads.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/20/2004
  • Label: Yazoo
  • UPC: 016351207029
  • Catalog Number: 2070
  • Sales rank: 67,455

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Police Station Blues (3:06)
  2. 2 Old Original Kokomo Blues (2:55)
  3. 3 Cruel Hearted Woman (2:49)
  4. 4 Roll and Tumble Blues (3:04)
  5. 5 Life Saver Blues - Lonnie Johnson (3:09)
  6. 6 Sitting on Top of the World (3:16)
  7. 7 Hittin' the Bottle Stomp (2:38)
  8. 8 Devil Got My Woman (3:00)
  9. 9 My Black Mama, Pt. 1 (3:09)
  10. 10 Georgia Bound - Blind Blake (3:23)
  11. 11 When the Sun Goes Down - Leroy Carr (2:58)
  12. 12 Sissy Man Blues (3:09)
  13. 13 Your Enemy Cannot Harm You - Rev. Edward Clayborn (3:02)
  14. 14 Lead Pencil Blues (3:06)
  15. 15 22-20 Blues (2:52)
  16. 16 Dry Southern Blues (2:58)
  17. 17 Kokomo Blues (3:04)
  18. 18 Things 'Bout Coming My Way - Tampa Red (3:28)
  19. 19 King of Spades (3:08)
  20. 20 Oh, Red! (2:38)
  21. 21 You're Gonna Need Somebody When You Die (2:58)
  22. 22 Milk Cow Blues (3:10)
  23. 23 Preachin' the Blues (3:02)
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Album Credits

Technical Credits
Kokomo Arnold Composer
Scrapper Blackwell Composer
Leroy Carr Composer
Skip James Composer
Blind Lemon Jefferson Composer
Lonnie Johnson Composer
Charley Patton Composer
Hambone Willie Newbern Composer
Walter Vinson Composer
Blind Blake Composer
Lonnie Chatmon Composer
Sam Hill Composer
Son House Composer
Robert Johnson Composer, Self-Caricature
Joe McCoy Composer
Elijah Wald Producer, Liner Notes
Hudson Whittaker Composer
Richard Nevins Remastering
Robert Van Nutt Cover Illustration
William Bunch Composer
Traditional Composer
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