Delta Crossroads

Delta Crossroads

by Robert Lockwood Jr.
     
 

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As the legend of Delta blues man Robert Johnson has grown and mutated into a kind of scholarly fervor, the reputation of Robert Lockwood Jr., whose mother Johnson lived with, has spread, and the guitarist, singer, and songwriter is now considered the elder statesman of rural blues. Johnson was the primary influence on Lockwood's guitar

Overview

As the legend of Delta blues man Robert Johnson has grown and mutated into a kind of scholarly fervor, the reputation of Robert Lockwood Jr., whose mother Johnson lived with, has spread, and the guitarist, singer, and songwriter is now considered the elder statesman of rural blues. Johnson was the primary influence on Lockwood's guitar style, and though Lockwood has since traveled with Sonny Boy Williamson and recorded with many other blues artists, it is those roots to which he returns on the solo acoustic set Delta Crossroads. Johnson's material is the bedrock upon which the set is built, with Lockwood taking a gentle approach to the violent lyrics of "32-20 Blues," putting an easy-rocking rhythm behind "Stop Breaking Down," and coming quite close to the pathos of his mentor's version of "Love in Vain." While Lockwood doesn't reveal anything new about the songwriter or the songs in his takes on Johnson's material, his interpretations are a reality check on the rural, folk quality of the musical culture from which the legend arose. Lockwood Jr. long ago left the Deep South, and when he returns to the music without the constraints of his connection to Johnson, the rest of his varied career comes through, giving DELTA CROSSROADS a modern feel. In fact, Lockwood's own tunes, "This Little Girl of Mine," "Train My Baby," and "My Woman Came Walking Down," are the album's most interesting material. Lockwood seems to know that leaving the Delta was the best thing that ever happened to him -- his rendition of "Keys to the Highway" is the most spirited cut of the set.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Curtis Zimmermann
For Delta Crossroads, Robert Lockwood Jr., a former student of Robert Johnson, returns to his Delta blues roots. This 16-track album features Lockwood with only his 12-string acoustic guitar. It is rather strange hearing old Delta blues sung by one of its originals on a modern recording. All of the notes from the guitar are clear. Plus, his voice isn't scuffed up by the scratches and pop of the vinyl recording. Lockwood plays a mix of Robert Johnson tunes, a few of his own, and some blues standards including "C.C. Rider." With its high production quality and Lockwood's unique and possibly near-extinct style of singing, Delta Crossroads is a strong testament to the endurance of a Delta blues original.
Southwest Blues
With this recording, Robert Lockwood Jr. has taken the music of some of the musicians that influenced him as a youth and has put his own stamp on them and released this wonderful album. Highly recommended for fans of traditional acoustic blues.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/25/2000
Label:
Telarc
UPC:
0089408350924
catalogNumber:
83509
Rank:
87174

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. 32-20 Blues
  2. Mean Mistreatin' Mama
  3. This Little Girl of Mine
  4. Stop Breakin' Down Blues
  5. My Woman Came Came Walking Down
  6. C.C. Rider
  7. Little Queen of Spades
  8. I Believe I'll Dust My Broom
  9. In the Evening (When the Sun Goes Down)
  10. We're Gonna Ball Tonight
  11. Mr. Downchild
  12. Run Your Mama
  13. Ramblin' on My Mind
  14. Love in Vain Blues
  15. Train My Baby
  16. Keys to the Highway

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