Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

Document Records
Lonnie Johnson Vol 1 1925 - 1926


7.49    7.49 New
 

FEATURED ARTIST / S
James 'Steady Roll' Johnson
Lonnie Johnson

    TRACK LIST

Lonnie Johnson
01 - Mr. Johnson`s blues
02 - Falling rain blues
03 - Very lonesome blues
04 - When I was lovin` changed my mind blues
05 - Sun to sun blues
06 - Bed of sand
07 - Lonesome jail blues

James "Steady Roll" Johnson
08 - No good blues
09 - Newport blues

Lonnie Johnson
10 - Love story blues
11 - Nile of Genago
12 - Five o` clock blues
13 - Johnson`s Trio stomp
14 - Woman changed my life
15 - Lonnie`s got the blues
16 - Good old woman
17 - A good happy home
18 - Baby you don`t know my mind
19 - I have no sweet woman now
20 - You drove a good man away
21 - Ball and chain blues
22 - You don`t see into the blues like me
23 - There`s no use of lovin`
24 - Baby, please tell me
25 - I`m gonna dodge the blues just wait and see

Lonnie Johnson, vocal, guitar. Violin, kazoo, harmonium
With contributions by James Johnson, violin, piano; James "Steady Roll" Johnson, vocal; John Arnold, piano; De Loise Searcy, piano; Victoria Spivey, vocal.
Genres: Blues, Country Blues, Blues Guitar.

Informative booklet notes by Chris Smith.
Detailed discography.

Abridged from this CDs booklet notes.
In 1925, Alonzo "Lonnie" Johnson won a talent contest sponsored by Okeh, and acquired a seven year contract with them as a result. Male singers playing guitar were about to make the breakthrough on race records; Blind Lemon Jefferson was beginning to record about the same time as Lonnie. Nevertheless, Johnson seems to have been anxious to show his versatility on these first dates; on this CD, he plays violin on more numbers than he does guitar, as well as switching to piano, banjo and harmonium. His contract with Okeh required him to work as a staff musician as well as a name artist, and he may have wanted to impress the company with his range. He also seems to have wished to promote brother James, who was at all Lonnie's sessions until April 1927, also making some recordings of his own. James, like Lonnie, was a multi-instrumentalist, playing violin, banjo, guitar and piano. "He was better than me," Lonnie remembered proudly in 1960, and certainly they blended admirably together, whether playing violin and guitar, violin and banjo, two guitars, or even two fiddles, as on Very Lonesome Blues.

As an accomplished professional, Lonnie didn't limit himself to blues; the irresistible, if enigmatically named Nile Of Genago is a waltz for two guitars, straight from the 19th Century parlour tradition. From the same session, the crazily syncopated Johnson Trio Stomp crosses hillbilly music with silent movie piano. Nevertheless, from the first Lonnie Johnson made his mark as a blues singer, and one with an impeccably poised, elegant guitar style, the melody tripping along over rich chords in support of his clear, bittersweet vocals.

Already a master musician, Lonnie Johnson was also a lyricist of considerable originality, and one with decided views on the complexities of human affairs. Often, he was misogynistic: "To find a good woman, is like finding a dime in a bed of sand... Men, love will make you drink and gamble, and stay out all night long." "Ah, you don't see into these blues like me; I can see further into the blues, than a fish can in the deep blue sea", he proclaimed, and his appeal to his audience seems to have derived as much from his ability to analyse his and their concerns, and write coherent responses, delivered with conviction and sincerity, as from his instrumental proficiency.

Home SearchSpecials Services MP3'sArchive News Contact View Cart