Blind Willie Johnson - Trouble will soon be over

A singing street-corner evangelist, Blind Willie Johnson created some of the most intensely moving records of the 20th century. Void of frivolity or uncertainty, his 78s from the 1920s and ’30s are clearly the work of a pained believer seeking redemption. A slide guitarist nonpareil, Johnson had an exquisite sense of timing and tone, using a pocketknife or ring slider to duplicate his vocal inflections or to produce an unforgettable phrase from a single strike of a string. Eric Clapton cites his “It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine” as “probably the finest slide guitar playing you’ll ever hear,” and Ry Cooder calls “Dark Was the Night – Cold Was the Ground” the “most transcendent piece in all American music.”

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