I just got back from a sweet night of the blues featuring Robert Lockwood Junior. Lockwood is allegedly the only person to have actually learned guitar from the king of delta blues, Robert Johnson. The blues ensemble that played with him was quite good, but it was obvious their style of blues wasn’t the same as Lockwood’s. They had a Memphis blues vibe, more…cosmopolitan than raw. Lockwood definitely proved that less is more. It almost seemed like the guitar was playing itself. If he learned from Robert Johnson, I can understand how people thought Johnson had made a deal with the devil to gain his skill. Unearthly. He made it hurt and feel good to hurt. The whole band got me into their sets, I was ‘yeah’ing and ‘whoo’ing as the spirit prompted me.
At the end the alto saxophonist came over and chatted with us, then Lockwood himself came over. I got to shake his hand and tell him how wonderful the performance was and asked him about his life. He said, ‘I never looked up to nobody,’ then paused and continued, ‘but I never looked down on nobody either.’
That is a damn good way to live.