Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams Give Tracks To Blind Willie Johnson Tribute

blind_willie_johnson

Blind Willie Johnson had a voice that could burn the skin off your back. When he sang he might as well been gargling with rocks. He made Howlin’ Wolf sound like Frank Sinatra. His gospel recordings are legendary. Most famous, perhaps, is “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground,” or maybe “John The Revelator.”

“Johnson’s music was charred with purgatorial fire — more than sixty years later, you can still smell the smoke on it,” wrote Francis Davis in his book, “The History of the Blues.”

Now a tribute album is in the works. Tom Waits is contributing covers of two songs: “Soul of a Man” and the amazing “John The Revelator.” Lucinda Williams checks in with “Nobody’s Fault But Mine,” the Cowboy Junkies recorded “Jesus Coming Soon,” and there are contributions from the Blind Boys of Alabama, Luther Dickinson, Rickie Lee Jones, Sinead O’Connor and more.

To fund the project, producer Jeffrey Gaskill is using Kickstarter. For more of the story, or if you’re interested in checking out what you get for what you give, head to this Kickstarter page.

Listen to “John The Revelator”:

And “Dark Was The Night, Cold Was the Ground.”

About Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg is a distinguished pioneer in the online music space; Newsweek magazine called him an ‘Internet visionary.’ In 1994 he founded Addicted To Noise (ATN), the highly influential music web site. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. In 1997, Addicted To Noise won Webby awards for best music site in 1998 and 1999, and also won Yahoo Internet Life! awards for three years running as best music site in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Prior to starting Addicted To Noise, Goldberg was an editor and senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 10 years. His writing has also appeared in Wired, Esquire, Vibe, Details, Downbeat, NME and numerous other publications. Michael recently completed his first novel, Days of the Crazy-Wild, and is currently writing a second novel.

Leave a Reply