BIG ROAD BLUES

Latest update on 11/01/2016

Artist: Tommy Johnson
Author: Tommy Johnson
Label: Victor
Year: 1928

Bluesman from Mississippi, early pupil of Charley Patton and Willie Brown; vaguely related with Lonnie Johnson. Influenced The Mississippi Sheiks, Howlin' Wolf and Canned Heat. (see also: Stop And Listen Blues) Ralph Peer recording. His falsetto singing tapped directly from field hollers and blue yodels. Tommy Johnson is portrayed (by Chris Thomas King) in Brothers Coen film O Brother Where Art Thou.

Covers:

1934:

Mississippi Mudder [as Going Back Home]

1935:

Willie Lofton [as Dark Road Blues]

1951:

Floyd Jones [as Dark Road and as On The Road Again]

1962:

K.C. Douglas

1966:

Alexis Korner

1968:

Canned Heat [partly as On The Road Again]

1971:

Bonnie Raitt

1973:

Stefan Grossman

1974:

Honeyboy Edwards

1987:

Tav Falco's Panther Burns

1990:

Paul Rishell

1991:

Rory Block [who cut his Bye Bye Blues on this same cd]

1992:

Ray Stubbs

1996:

John Sebastian

1999:

Rusty Zinn

2003:

Corey Harris

Canned Heat credit Floyd Jones for borrowing that title (On The Road Again) and some lyric lines (from his Dark Road). Both songs are slight variations on Tommy Johnson's Big Road Blues. Besides, Canned Heat must have been familiar with Johnson too, while Canned Heat Blues was one of his trademark tunes (covered by Rory Block).

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