Although he recorded a mere 29 songs, blues-man, Robert Johnson (who was born over a century ago) had a huge influence on guitarists through the history of rock and roll. Johnson’s legacy is one of the most studied of all country, blues and rock musicians; and he’s been the subject of many books, films and essays. But the mythology surrounding his life just won’t go away. If you know anything about Johnson, chances are you’re familiar with the story that he sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads (Clarksdale MS.) in exchange for his musical virtuosity. This myth from the 15th century is based on the German character, Johann Faust… Being dissatisfied with his life, it leads him to make a pact with the Devil… exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. The situation doesn’t have a story book ending.. the ambitious person surrenders moral integrity in order to achieve power and success for a delimited term. The story gathered references from medieval Christian, Roman, Eastern Buddhism, and Hellenic poetry, philosophy and mainstream literature.The legend reached a mainstream audience with the 1986 movie “Crossroads”, starring Joe Seneca and Ralph Macchio. Which brings it back full circle regarding rock and roll.
Much has changed over the last 20 years… its claimed that the Johnson story never happened and it hyperbole has been popularized by so many rock guitarist… Not many are American… but rather.. British…. Musicians found the myth more endearing and easier to align credence behind a story that hasn’t been substantiated. Ask Clapton, Page, Hendrix, Van Halen, Richards and Beck..…if they had “sealed the deal”!
Johnson emphatically believed the story that said he was born in Mississippi on May 8, 1911; and grew up on a plantation in the Delta. As a young man, he was more interested in music than farming. He’d hounded the older blues musicians for a chance to play. Fuck, he’d go around and “cop-off” other guitarist’s riffs and claiming they were his.They all rapped about him being a lazy piece of shit! Finally, he left Mississippi and ran off north to Arkansas from the family’s farm without a peep. When Johnson came back from Arkansas six months later he’d mastered the guitar. This e’pinine is where the rumors about his deal with the devil came from, but Johnson acknowledged studying blues guitar with a mortal teacher while he was gone. After that, Johnson worked as a traveling musician, playing on street corners and in juke joints, mostly in Mississippi. And in 1936, he got his chance to record in Texas and thus the legend be born and told with many interpretations that were true and false
British trio, “Willie & The Bandits” have been hitting the British hills and seas far away since 2010. Willie & Co. have been on the road since.. These are not your everyday rock trio… They don’t fuck around.. they play blues rock as its meant to be played. They take no prisoners and feel that their band doesn’t need to follow the great hyperbole of cutting a deal with the devil…They’ll take their chances….no questions.. none asked…
The album title “Paths” is slated to come out in early February of 2019 (already 2019 is starting to rock)…The first radio track, “Find My Way”… shows that the band is turning in the right direction. By simple meiosis there can be some obvious sounds similarities. I’m not at implying that they are “stealing” music… hell no! They’re taking some heard riff and turning it into their own… “Find My Way” is a phenomenal song. Half- way into the track is where Willie and company take a Kundalini meditative… turn and conjure up the nuances of mid period Zeppelin. Their music doesn’t rest solely with peace of mind. iIt’s a spiritual enhancement of personality that makes rock and roll so great. Rock Bands of L.A. com proudly endorses this band..
Check out their website for new releases and tour updates…