Friday, March 19, 2010
Robert LOCKWOOD Jr. - Delta Crossroads 2000
DELTA CROSSROADS was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album.
For Delta Crossroads, Robert Lockwood Jr., a former student of Robert Johnson, returns to his Delta blues roots. This 16-track album features Lockwood with only his 12-string acoustic guitar. It is rather strange hearing old Delta blues sung by one of its originals on a modern recording. All of the notes from the guitar are clear. Plus, his voice isn't scuffed up by the scratches and pop of the vinyl recording. Lockwood plays a mix of Robert Johnson tunes, a few of his own, and some blues standards including "C.C. Rider." With its high production quality and Lockwood's unique and possibly near-extinct style of singing, Delta Crossroads is a strong testament to the endurance of a Delta blues original.
By Curtis Zimmermann.
There's a stereotype about the Delta blues. You know the one: some guy sitting on a back porch somewhere, or maybe in a boxcar, with his guitar, singing about some woman who left him. But real Delta blues is far more flexible, creative, and, above all, spooky than that. It takes someone who learned from the style's master that would be Robert Johnson, in case you're wondering to explore the music's length and breadth, and that someone is Robert Lockwood Jr. That's why, even though he covers some of the hoariest chestnuts the Delta blues has to offer--yep, there's "Dust My Broom," and yep, there's "Love in Vain," and "Ramblin' on My Mind," not to mention Lightnin' Hopkins's "C.C. Rider," which has been covered by just about everyone who can sling an acoustic guitar Lockwood keeps the music fresh and appealing. There's no question that he's good at what he does; he's won a W.C. Handy award, been nominated for a Grammy, and remained one of the most respected bluesmen around for decades. It would be hard to select a more clichéd title for a Delta blues album than Delta Crossroads Lockwood does not, by the way, cover "Crossroad Blues" on this album, but that's fine; he's earned the right.
By Genevieve Williams. AMG.
Robert Lockwood, Jr., remains a national blues treasure who still sounds as fresh and vital today as he did decades ago. Telarc has issued a new cd, Delta Crossroads, which is surprising in being a solo acoustic album. Robert is heard on fine performances of a number of blues associated with his stepfather, Robert Johnson's songs, several other blues standards and his own originals.This is not his first acoustic blues album. He recorded for a French label, Plays Robert & Robert which has been reissued in the US on Evidence. And he has included tracks on prior albums in a similar vein. Robert has recorded most of the songs heard here in the past, although perhaps under different titles. For example, his This Little Girl of Mine was recorded with his band as Hold Everything on his first Trix album. This writer is familiar with other renditions of most of the Robert Johnson songs. Johnson's 32-20 Blues that opens this album may be the one song I have not heard him on record do before. Lockwood, in fact, recorded Dust My Broom prior to Elmore James, although it was issued later, and he did Rambling on My Mind on his Steady Rolling Man album on Delmark. He plays with his usual skill and sings straightforwardly and without any artifice. Its nice to hear renditions of performances of blues classics he regularly performs including C.C. Rider and Leroy Carr's Mean Mistreater and In the Evening, which is juxtaposed with a rendition of Love In Vain, which uses the latter tune's melody. This is beautifully recorded and produced by Joe Harley and is a worthy addition to his growing body of recordings. Hopefully we will get a new album of Robert with his band real soon.
By R. Weinstock.
01. 32-20 Blues 3:15
02. Mean Mistreater Mama 4:16
03. This Little Girl of Mine 4:02
04. Stop Breakin' Down Blues 3:34
05. My Woman Came Walking Down 5:16
06. C.C. Rider 3:56
07. Little Queen of Spades 2:09
08. I Believe I'll Dust My Broom 4:00
09. In the Evening (When the Sun Goes Down) 5:02
10. We're Gonna Ball Tonight 3:18
11. Mr. Downchild 3:29
12. Run Your Mama 4:20
13. Ramblin' On My Mind 2:51
14. Love In Vain Blues 3:27
15. Train My Baby 3:34
16. Keys to the Highway 4:24