The Unsung Blues Legend: The Living Room Sessions by Lonnie Johnson

The Unsung Blues Legend: The Living Room Sessions by Lonnie Johnson
The Unsung Blues Legend: The Living Room Sessions by Lonnie Johnson (click images to enlarge)
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Description of The Unsung Blues Legend: The Living Room Sessions by...

Released 2000-07-11

Released by Blues Magnet

Available in Audio CD format

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Manufacturer Description

Blues guitarist Lonnie Johnson is captured in a rare, never before released recording that took place at a small gathering in the home of his close friend Bernie Strassberg in 1965, demonstrating both his superb guitar and stunning vocals. Features unpublished personal letters between the friends and rare photos. (Previously deleted: 1/1/02. Original release date: 7/11/00).

Forty years after beginning a remarkable recording career spanning multiple generations and genres, New Orleans-born blues and jazz guitar virtuoso Lonnie Johnson sat in a friend's living room in Queens, New York, with an acoustic guitar and a reel-to-reel recorder. The songs he performed that night make up this enchanting set of classics that adds yet another dimension to the great musician's legacy. Here, we find Johnson at age 66, his plaintive voice and guitar in stunning form, mining a 20th-century musical landscape for folksy treasures as diverse as Bessie Smith's "Back Water Blues," Duke Ellington's "Solitude," Hoagy Carmichael's "Rockin' Chair," and Kurt Weill's "September Song," with "Danny Boy" and "Careless Love" also among the surprises. Although it was recorded in 1965 on crude equipment, it's easy to see from this essential CD why Lonnie Johnson deeply affected so many American musical immortals, from Robert Johnson, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis to Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. --Alan Greenberg