If you are a Blues fanatic, like me, you know the story of Robert Johnson like you know your own. When I think about this story, I think there is an interesting dichotomy present. If you were raised in a religious house or you spend time with strongly religious friends, one thing is very clear. There is a God and there is Satan… the Devil. We know the rumor. Robert Johnson, a sub-par guitarist, after a year of absence suddenly become the best guitarist in Coahoma County, Mississippi and beyond. How was that possible? He must have compromised his very soul, to have become such a prolific musician. Son House thought so. Of course, it’s good to be reminded, that at seventeen, Son House was preaching fire and brimstone from the pulpit of his church.
It’s a great story. Everyone knows, without a doubt, that this is a myth. Robert Johnson, himself, helped out the story, writing tunes like “Me and the Devil Blues” and “Hellhound on My Trail” and even “Crossroads Blues“.Even your Religious friends don’t believe that Robert Johnson had an encounter with Satan. These are the same friends and relatives that tell you that Satan exists. But, when you talk to them out of the context of the Christian Religion, they scoff at the thought that someone could have an encounter with Satan and improve his lot in life. Then be condemned to hell for all eternity, after he passes into the afterlife. I would think if, one were committed to their Religion, they would declare that this is something that is available to us all. Instead, out of the context of Religion, dismiss it could happen. Something to think about.