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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Honey Bee - Big Jack "The Oil Man" Johnson

Big Jack Johnson (July 30, 1940 – March 14, 2011) was an American electric blues musician. One commentator noted that Johnson, along with R. L. Burnside, Paul "Wine" Jones, Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes and James "Super Chikan" Johnson, were "present-day exponents of an edgier, electrified version of the raw, uncut Delta blues sound. Johnson was born in Lambert, Mississippi. His father was a blues and country musician. Johnson started playing guitar with him, but in his teens shifted to an electric guitar. After meeting Frank Frost and Sam Carr at the Savoy Theatre in Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1962, they performed as The Jelly Roll Kings and The Nighthawks for 15 years, recording for Phillips International and Jewel Records with Frost as the bandleader. The 1979 Earwig Music release Rockin' the Juke Joint Down marked Johnson's first recordings as a singer. Johnson's subsequent 1987 album for Earwig, The Oil Man, included his recording of "Catfish Blues." He has recorded both solo and as a member of the blues groups the Jelly Roll Kings and Big Jack Johnson and the Oilers (with poet/musician Dick Lourie). He performed and wrote "Jack's Blues" and performed "Catfish Medley" with Samuel L. Jackson on the Black Snake Moan, film soundtrack. Daddy, When Is Mama Comin Home?, his ambitious 1990 set for Earwig, presented social concerns Johnson died from an undisclosed illness on March 14, 2011. According to family members, he had struggled with health issues in his final years, worsening to the point that there were erroneous reports of his death several times in the weeks prior to his death.

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