Robert Johnson at 100
A Musical Tribute to Benefit The Blues Hall of Fame
New York City
March 6, 2012
On Tuesday night, March 6, New York’s famed Apollo Theater hosted a diverse lineup of artists paying tribute to blues legend Robert Johnson. Johnson would have been 100 years old this year. The show was a benefit for the building of the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis, Tennessee.
It is hard to overstate Johnson’s influence on popular music and how diverse that influence has been. This was evidenced by having two artists perform completely different versions of the same some, “Kindhearted Woman Blues.” Otis Taylor offered up a country blues version featuring his banjo, while Todd Rundgren rocked it out. Rundgren would come back later in the show with another rocker, “Stop Breakin’ Down.”
There were many highlights during the evening. Elvis Costello was a last-minute addition to the sang “From Four ‘Til Late” while accompanying himself on acoustic guitar.
The diverse television band The Roots played “Milkcow’s Calf Blues,” with guitarist “Captain” Kirk Douglas taking the lead vocals. Public Enemy‘s Chuck D offered up a rap version of ”Last Fair Deal Gone Down.”
Living Colour brought their huge rocking energy to Johnson’s blues and played backup to several artists, including Shemekia Copeland on “Stop Breakin’ Down” and Sarah Dash (Labelle, Keith Richards‘ X-Pensive Winos) on “Little Queen of Spades.”
Other highlights from the night included New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint‘s piano-driven version of “Cross Road Blues,” actor Jeffrey Wright (who played Muddy Waters in the film Cadillac Records) with blues singer Keb’ Mo’ doing “Stones In My Passway,” Macy Gray‘s take on “Come On In My Kitchen,” Bettye Lavette with Taj Mahal on “When You Got A Good Friend,” and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave) doing “Sweet Home Chicago.”
Of course, award-winning photographer Joseph A. Rosen was there. In this week’s Photo Page, Joe shares some photographs from this soon-to-be legendary show.
As usual, our photographers share their work only for your enjoyment. If you wish to share or use them for any other purpose, please contact us or the photographer.
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