Various Artists - God Don't Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson

140 Gram Vinyl LP with Digital Download

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A stunning collection of artists and performances celebrate the timeless music of legendary gospel bluesman Blind Willie Johnson.

From Derek Trucks’ and Susan Tedeschi’s reverent reading of Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning to Lucinda Williams’ slide guitar-fueled lament in Nobody’s Fault But Mine, from Luther Dickinson’s spirited take on Bye And Bye I’m Going To See The King (with The Rising Star Fife & Drum Band) to Tom Waits’ virtual embodiment of Johnson himself on The Soul Of A Man and John The Revelator, this record is packed with incomparable recordings that speak as much to the greatness of the performers as they do the enduring legacy of Blind Willie Johnson.

Blind Willie Johnson was a gospel blues singer and guitarist (1897 - 1945). The lyrics of his songs were usually religious, and his music drew from both the sacred and the blues traditions, characterized by his slide guitar accompaniment and tenor voice, often with a lower-register "growl", or false bass voice.

Blind Willie Johnson recorded a total of 30 tracks for Columbia between 1927 and 1930, creating a priceless legacy.

He created unforgettable music by marrying the raw gospel fervor of his vocals with the steely blues fire of his guitar. His songs were mostly traditional or came from hymnals, but when Johnson performed them, his soul-shaking voice and amazing slide guitar transformed each one into something wholly original.

Johnson was among the best-selling black gospel artists of the era, but the Great Depression ended his recording career.

Rock fans will no doubt recognize many of Johnson’s songs, which have been recorded over the years by artists ranging from Led Zeppelin to Eric Clapton to Bob Dylan

According to Luther Dickinson, “Blind Willie Johnson touches everybody. His music is so of the earth that it still sounds completely modern. It’s timeless and like nothing else ever recorded. If we could hip anybody to Blind Willie Johnson, their lives would be enriched for sure.”

Derek Trucks wholeheartedly agrees, saying, “I never heard a slide player, even to this day, play with that much emotion. I’ve only heard a few things that have hit me quite that strongly. There’s something so honest about his recordings. He’s one of the few handful of musicians whose music really feels sacred to me. Johnson’s songs, lyrics and the ability to pair the slide with the voice were amazing. It feels like it came out of a different world.”

Produced by Jeffrey Gaskill, who helmed 2003’s Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs Of Bob Dylan, God Don't Never Change hits artistic pay dirt like few tribute albums have, and is brimming with outstanding performances by some of the biggest names in music.

The artists are well-chosen and totally committed, and the new versions capture the raw beauty of the original recordings.

This is a US Pressing on 140 Gram Vinyl with a printed inner sleeve and digital download card.




Tom Waits

The Soul Of A Man



Lucinda Williams

It's Nobody's Fault But Mine



Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi

Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning



Cowboy Junkies

Jesus Is Coming Soon



The Blind Boys Of Alabama

Mother's Children Have A Hard Time



Sinéad O'Connor

Trouble Will Soon Be Over



Luther Dickinson, The Rising Star Fife and Drum Band

Bye And Bye I'm Going To See The King



Lucinda Williams

God Don't Never Change



Tom Waits

John The Revelator



Maria McKee

Let Your Light Shine On Me



Rickie Lee Jones

Dark Was The Night—Cold Was The Ground


SKU 014551496816
Record Label Alligator Records
Label / Model # Independent
Catalogue Number AL 4968
Country US - United States
Release Date (Year) 26 February 2016
Original Release Date (Year) 26 February 2016
Barcode # 014551496816
Shipping Weight 0.2250kg
Shipping Width 0.005m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.000493000m3
Type New
Format Limited Edition 140 Gram Vinyl LP Release, Printed Inner Sleeve, Digital Download
Vinyl Colour Black
Genre Blues

Evocation not replication

By: on 28 August 2016
This is a bunch of great roots artists paying respect to and channelling the music of Blind Willie Johnson. It's a great place to reflect on the way that blues and gospel music have informed and influenced all subsequent popular music. A great album for students of modern music.

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