It's kind of tough to wrap your head around the fact that, next year, legendary bluesman Robert Johnson would have turned 100 years old.
Given the gravitas that surrounds his mystique, you'd think he'd be older, no? Sure enough, though: May 8, 1911 was his birthday. And, to celebrate that much, a Boston-based tour production company has decided to put together a tour commemorating his legacy, featuring the likes of David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Hubert Sumlin, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm and, oddly enough, Big Head Todd & The Monsters.
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The tour comes to Dallas on February 5, with a performance at the Lakewood Theater -- a tour stop that, one assumes, should come with a certain extra intrigue, given the fact that, the one-time recording studio set up at 508 Park Ave. downtown was one of the few places in which Johnson is known to have recorded. That building, by the way, long abandoned and in danger of destruction, was recently saved(ish) thanks to its next door neighbors at the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas.
We've reached out to the tour's producers to see if they're aware of the local connection and, given as much, to see if there's anything special planned for the area performance. No word back yet, although we'll certainly keep you posted on that front.
In the meantime, check out all the pertinent details on the tour after the jump in the press release announcing it.
BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS:
THE ROBERT JOHNSON CENTENNIAL CONCERTS
A TOUR AND STUDIO RELEASE
TO CELEBRATE JOHNSON'S LEGENDARY BLUES LEGACY
2011"Robert Johnson [was the one] to whom we all owed our existence in some way."
Electrifying Concert Series and Accompanying Studio Recording to Feature
Big Head Todd & The Monsters, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Hubert Sumlin,
and Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm
- Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin
BOSTON, MA - There's no denying anyone who digs the Blues will really dig the once-in-a-lifetime experience that is BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS: THE ROBERT JOHNSON CENTENNIAL CONCERTS. The very special tour (set to launch in San Francisco on Jan. 28, 2011) and accompanying studio recording (to be released early 2011) commemorates the 100th Anniversary of legendary bluesman Robert Johnson's birth with exhilarating collaborations between Big Head Todd & The Monsters, living Bluesman legend David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Hubert Sumlin, and Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm. With Edwards on board, BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS has a direct connection back to the legend, as Edwards was in attendance for Johnson's last live performance the night Johnson passed away.
"We both wanted to create a blues show that was not just another blues show, but a show that was truly unique," said Blues at the Crossroads co-producer Ron Hausfeld, who is producing the tour with Ted Kurland Associates' Jack Randall. "We want people to walk away saying, 'Wow...that was cool...I've never seen anything like it.'"
Before the tour hits the road, BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS musicians meet this fall at Ardent Recording Studios in Memphis to put this epic collaboration to tape. The studio recordings will be released in early 2011 in conjunction with the tour.
BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS picks up the thread of Johnson's legacy in Mississippi, at the junction of US Highways 61 & 49; the very crossroads where, as legend has it, Robert Johnson's burning desire pushed him to make his deal with the devil - giving up his soul to write the baddest-ass blues the world had ever heard. One of the most famous Delta blues musicians, Johnson has influenced a broad range of musicians for generations with his songs, vocal phrasing and guitar style - in particular his landmark recordings from 1936-1937 that display a remarkable combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent. Eric Clapton has called Johnson "the most important blues singer that ever lived" and described Johnson's emotive vocal delivery as "the most powerful cry that I think you can find in the human voice." Johnson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an "Early Influence" in their first induction ceremony in 1986. Johnson's shadowy, poorly documented life and death at age 27 in 1938 have given rise to much legend.
BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS: THE ROBERT JOHNSON CENTENNIAL CONCERTS Show Details in Your Market and Tour Schedule are below.
Show Details in Your Market:
Saturday, February 5
Blues At The Crossroads
1825 Abrams Rd # A Dallas, TX
Tickets TBA / All Ages Welcome
For more information, please contact (214) 821-7469 or visit www.lakewoodtheater.com