Modern music has revolutionized our modern world, it is the universal language that has slipped through all social and racial barriers and the one thing we can all agree upon…and it all started at the crossroads.
Myth and legend have come together over the years to give birth to the creation of Robert Johnson‘s epic meeting with the devil at the crossroads in the Mississippi Delta. Robert Johnson spent his years hitching rides from town to town, playing his guitar, and singing his heart out to whomever would listen, such was the life of the original blues man. The legend goes that Robert presented himself to a group of aged experienced blues players and played his piece but to his sore disappointment was laughed down and walked away in angry shame.
Months went by and a new blues player appeared on the Mississippi delta blues scene. This new blues player went by the name Robert Johnson and his moaning voice and furious slide playing was filling the bars and dance halls across the Delta. How it came to be that a no name, no talent guitarist like Robert Johnson came to be the blues virtuoso that he was could only be explained by some foul play Robert’s part. The rumor going around was that Robert had made a pact with a mysterious man he met one night at the crossroads who told Robert he had eight years left to live. Having said that the man took Robert’s guitar tuned it, returned it to Robert and was never seen again. The rumor was that the man who tuned Robert’s guitar was the devil and that he was to take Robert’s soul in exchange for the talent he bestowed upon him after a period of eight years. Of course, Robert did nothing to dispel the notion of his pact with the devil by playing songs with heavy religious toned lyrics and constantly referring to a “Judgment day” and the “Devil’s Hounds”. This only boosted his rise in popularity and inscribed him into the annals of history and legend.
Decades later we look back in history and see all the varied genres the blues has given birth to like jazz, R & B, and even heavy metal! One can only wonder what really happened at the crossroads.