Top positive review
on 21 June 2017
When it comes to recording a Robert Johnson covers album, it makes a little sense that it is done by the man who turned most blues guitarist on to Johnson's work, Eric Clapton.
Me And Mr. Johnson is an album that was recorded with a lot of love and it shows in the end result. The songs for the most part are all quite up beat and has that English blues rock vibe that you'd expect from the late '60s blues boom. There are a number of quality musicians on here including the great Steve Gadd, Billy Preston and Andy Fairweather. Each musician does their thing and does it well. From a technical perspective, this is a very well made album.
But covering such oldies like They're Red Hot, Travelling Riverside Blues and Kind Hearted Woman Blues is all great and everything, but there is one specific element on this record that just doesn't work. That is the fact that there are quite simply too many musicians playing these songs. For those unaware, Robert Johnson's music was the man's guitar and his voice, however Me And Mr. Johnson features drums, bass, harmonica, organ, and piano. The end result is a good album, don't get me wrong. But the original charm of these songs is a little lost in the mix and it is a crying shame. It also doesn't help that Eric Clapton himself does not utilise his guitar very well. His playing is pretty run of the mill, buried in the mix and when it does come into the forefront, the tone is a little underwhelming.
Taking all that into consideration, Me And Mr. Johnson is still a highly enjoyable album that I'm sure fans of Eric Clapton and his fellow blues guitarists will enjoy. It does what it says on the tin, but it could have been done better.
Published by Steven Lornie of Demonszone