TOM WAITS STREAMS SOUL OF A MAN FROM NEW COMPILATION
GOD DON'T NEVER CHANGE: THE SONGS OF BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON
AT HIS FACEBOOK PAGE
Legendary artist Tom Waits is streaming his new recording of Soul Of A Man from the forthcoming album God Don't Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson at his Facebook page. Waits also recorded John The Revelator for the album.
The album -- to be issued on CD on February 26 and soon after on vinyl -- features newly recorded versions of the iconic slide guitarist/vocalist's most seminal material. In addition to Waits, Lucinda Williams, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Cowboy Junkies, Blind Boys Of Alabama (with Jason Isbell on guitar), Sinéad O'Connor, Luther Dickinson featuring The Rising Star Fife & Drum Band, Maria McKee, and Rickie Lee Jones all deliver deeply moving interpretations of Johnson's otherworldly "gospel blues" music.
Produced by Jeffrey Gaskill (producer of the twice Grammy-nominated compilation, Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan), God Don't Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson highlights the music of one of the greatest and most influential slide guitarists and vocalists who ever walked the Earth. Johnson sang his sanctified gospel lyrics with overwhelming intensity, his deep, raspy voice accompanying his haunting, blues-drenched guitar playing. Rock fans will no doubt recognize many of his songs which have been recorded over the years by artists ranging from Led Zeppelin to Eric Clapton to Bob Dylan. Johnson's recording of John The Revelator was included in the Anthology Of American Folk Music, archivist Harry Smith's 6-LP collection released in 1952 that set the folk revival of the 1960s into motion. God Don't Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson is, according to Gaskill, "my life's work." The project was years in the making, and Gaskill is thrilled it's ready to be released. "You gotta serve somebody," he says, referencing his earlier compilation, "and I got the songs of Blind Willie Johnson."
Blind Willie Johnson, whose life remains shrouded in mystery, was born in Pendleton, Texas in 1897 and grew up around Marlin, Texas, He recorded a total of 30 songs between 1927 and 1930 for Columbia, leaving behind a priceless legacy of the unforgettable music he created by marrying the raw, gospel fervor of his voice with the steely blues fire of his guitar. His songs were mostly traditional or came from hymnals, but when Johnson performed them, he transformed them with his soul-shaking voice and amazing slide guitar. Johnson was among the best-selling black gospel artists of the era, but the Great Depression ended his recording career. He continued traveling as a street singer, moving between Dallas, Galveston, Houston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio and finally to Beaumont, where he thundered out his street corner evangelism, spreading his sacred message through his transfixing music. He died in 1945 in Beaumont, Texas at the age of 48.
God Don't Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson
1) The Soul Of A Man (Tom Waits)
2) It's Nobody’s Fault But Mine (Lucinda Williams)
3) Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning (Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi)
4) Jesus Is Coming Soon (Cowboy Junkies)
5) Mother’s Children Have A Hard Time (Blind Boys of Alabama)
6) Trouble Will Soon Be Over (Sinéad O'Connor)
7) Bye And Bye I’m Going To See The King (Luther Dickinson featuring The Rising Star Fife & Drum Band)
8) God Don’t Never Change (Lucinda Williams)
9) John The Revelator (Tom Waits)
10) Let Your Light Shine On Me (Maria McKee)
11) Dark Was The Night--Cold Was The Ground (Rickie Lee Jones)