The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Robert Johnson & Beckman Vineyard's Cuvee Le Bec

You can’t talk about blues guitar without mentioning the legendary Robert Johnson. His influence on modern blues and rock and roll is undeniable and many of his tunes like Crossroad blues, Walking blues, and Sweet home Chicago have achieved canonical status, anthems of the blues genre.

It’s amazing that one hundred two years ago, a dirt-poor African-American boy was born who would grow up to learn to sing and play the blues influencing music for a century and beyond. He was the king of the Delta Blues singers influencing Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, the Allman brothers, and many others who’ve sung his praise and honored his legacy by recording his music.

He recorded 29 songs between 1936 and 1937 for the American Record Corporation, which released eleven 78rpm records on their Vocalion label during Johnson¹s lifetime, and one after his death, but he plied his craft on street corners and in the juke joints of the south. His life has been romanticized because so little is really known about him. His life is surrounded by myths from a deal with the devil that led to his incredible musical mastery to the tragedy of his death due to poisoning in 1938 by a jealous boyfriend that prolonged the agony of dying for three days.

But one thing is certain. His musical ability left a legacy of guitar mastery that is some of the most complex and difficult music to play. Even Eric Clapton acknowledged its difficulty in an interview I posted some weeks back. So enjoy one of the consummate bluesmen whose influence will continue for generations to come.

Travelin riverside blues:
I believe I’ll dust my broom:
When you gotta good friend:
If I had possession over judgment day:
I’m a steady rollin man:

We need a powerhouse wine to compliment Robert Johnson, so I suggest a Beckman Vineyards 2010 Cuvee Le Bec. It’s a blend of 44% Syrah, 34% Grenache, 13% Mourvedre, and 9% Cournoise, very similar to what one finds in France’s Northern Rhone region. It has aromas of dark berries and pepper with a fruity palate that’s rich in blackberry and raspberry. The Cuvee Le Bec is a very balanced wine with a long, lingering finish, just the thing for one of the Delta Blues greats of all time. Enjoy!


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