Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sweet Home Chicago Johnny Shines

I asked Susan what she wanted to read on my blog this year and she said 'music history' so here goes. 1930s Blues legend Robert Johnson. Probably the most influential musician of the 20th century(I changed my mind from Charley Patton) despite dying young - why was he so influential? Well he popularised a certain style of playing that underpinned most of the best Chicago blues - a kind of walking bass figure and a rhythmic style that was actually quite rigid but allowed the band style to develop. He was also the patron saint of the British blues boom and his demonic imagery provided a blueprint for the rock songwriters of Britain. What's that got to do with Johnny Shines? Well Johnny played with Robert Johnson and was an exponent of a similar style. Here he plays Johnson's 'Sweet Home Chicago' check it out - maybe you have to be a guitar nerd to enjoy it but I'm hoping you might find it an interesting link to a legend.