Rory Block

The Lady and Mr. Johnson

This is a real keeper. Block is one of the premiere interpreters of traditional Delta Blues, and one helluva slide guitar virtuoso. While this is a tribute/concept album, it’s also much more. Block first heard Robert Johnson’s music in the early ’60s, and she became obsessed with playing, transcribing and inhabiting the music of the man who went down to the crossroads in the dead of night to make a deal with the devil. And, has she ever succeeded. She downright channels the man and his music, her eerie, spookily compelling slide and vocals are absolutely dead-on in song after song. As with Johnson, there are just two things here: her guitar and her voice. It’s powerful, moving stuff. Another time captured—alive, raw and vibrating.