Legend has it that Robert Johnson took his guitar to the crossroads of Highways 49 and 61 Clarksdale, Mississippi, and made a deal with the devil in order to become a legendary guitar player. Johnson is described as being a ‘decent harmonica player but terrible guitarist’ by contemporary blues musician Son House, until that is, that he disappeared for a few weeks in which he made the exchange of his soul for musical prowess.
Johnson is thought of as the godfather of blues music, especially Delta blues. The twenty-nine songs recorded by him during his short life have been of massive inspiration to guitarists and musicians over the last 80 years. Whether you believe the pact with the devil legend, there is no denying his ability as a guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter.
Making a pact with the devil in exchange for musical ability is not a new idea and is represented in Christian iconography since renaissance times. Violin virtuoso Paganini enjoyed a similar legend. The fact that Robert Johnson died at the age of 27 puts him into another musical myth, the 27 club, which includes Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, and many others who have also died at this early age.
Should you wish to sound like Johnson without the necessary outlay of your soul then the Gibson Robert Johnson L-1 signature is a more reasonable option. Included in our March 2021 Musical Instrument sale, this guitar is almost brand new and brimming with tone to explore those delta routes.
Estimated at £1,500 - 2,000, the guitar is an accurate copy of the original 1926 L-1 acoustic which accompanies Johnson in those famous early photographs. It has a relatively short 25-inch scale length and 18 fret neck which is comfortable and accommodating. The guitar has a small parlor shape body which gives it that boxy growl with focused midrange tones that you hear on those early recordings.
Should you not want to sell your soul to the devil in order to finance your next musical adventure this might be the guitar for you. If you have anything you would like to include in the same auction (except a soul) we would be pleased to hear from you. Please contact Chris Large on 01270 623878 or email email@example.com
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