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Elijah Wald: Escaping the Delta - Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues

Anthony Heilbut, Los Angeles Times Book Review, January 2004

WHOSE BLUES is it anyway? On his first trip to the Mississippi Delta, Elijah Wald found himself performing a Robert Johnson song at the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church. He reckoned that the members wouldn't care for the old blues sound, much less have heard of his idol. But he didn't expect their response: unmitigated glee. Taking for granted the musical strategies that Wald had spent years mastering, they attended instead to Johnson's hilarious double-entendres in ‘Terraplane Blues’:

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