Solo performer: Robert Johnson (vocals, guitar).
Producer: Don Law.
Compilation producer: Jerry Rappaport.
Recorded in 1936-37. Includes liner notes by Martin Scorcese and Greil Marcus.
Personnel: Robert Johnson (vocals, guitar); Keb' Mo' (vocals, guitar); Cassandra Wilson (vocals); Marvin Sewell (guitar).
Liner Note Author: Martin Scorsese.
Recording information: Clarksdale, MS (11/23/1936-??/??/2002); Dallas, TX (11/23/1936-??/??/2002); Los Angeles, CA (11/23/1936-??/??/2002); San Antonio, TX (11/23/1936-??/??/2002).
Photographers: Frank Ockenfels; Donata Wenders; John Jackson.
Unknown Contributor Role: Jeff Haynes.
Robert Johnson may not have been as innovative in the country blues field as many people think, but as one of the last of the great Delta players to record, he brought a late-era refinement to his material, and with striking songs like "Love in Vain," "Hellhound on My Trail," and the assured "Last Fair Deal Gone Down," he certainly deserves his lofty position in the early blues canon. This set has all of those, but lacks some key tracks, most notably the impressive "Stones in My Passway," and while it makes a decent introduction to Johnson, there is really no reason not to simply pick up the double-disc Complete Recordings on Columbia. It has the best sound, the best liner notes, and everything is there, alternate takes and all. ~ Steve Leggett