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Brother Robert Reviews

Brother Robert by Annye C. Anderson, Preston Lauterbach, Elijah Wald

Brother Robert: Growing Up with Robert Johnson

Annye C. Anderson, Preston Lauterbach, Elijah Wald

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Da Capo Press Inc
Publication date: 9 Jun 2020
ISBN: 9780306845260

An intimate memoir by blues legend Robert Johnson's stepsister, including new details about his family, music, influences, tragic death, and musical afterlife

4 stars out of 5
14 Aug 2020

"Where Anderson’s account delights most is in the details it provides of Johnson’s life in Memphis"

That his music should have been interpreted as the epitome of a man in league with the devil clearly pains the doughty nonagenarian. The tradition of personalising exchanges with the devil in song dates back to the 15th century, and was for a long time strictly a white tradition. Johnson seized on the power of the imagery, but who’s to say it came from the blues tradition? Indeed, after reading Anderson’s account, one comes away firmly convinced that folk and blues to him were kindred spirits and musical forms that — had he lived — he could have shuttled between as easily as his very own Judas.