Monday, July 15, 2013

The Best of Lonnie Johnson (Blues Forever)

This is an 18 song collection of Johnson’s work from 1932 through 1950, as part of the same series that released the Memphis Minnie CD I reviewed earlier. The early cuts are Lonnie by himself, then with a simple piano accompaniment and later with bass and drums added. Everything here showcases Johnson’s wonderful, fluid guitar style – a mix of single-string blues lines and jazz – and his terrific, expressive voice.

I normally like my blues a little rawer than this, but Johnson is just so damn good – like T-Bone Walker, who he also influenced – that I continue to return to his music and search out more and more. Everything that I have heard is great stuff and this is a good start for his early work. I hope to find more soon!