The O.G. of Love; Johnny "Guitar" Watson gets his due with a terrific two disc set

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By John Nova Lomax
Published: Thursday, October 13, 2005

Vishnu ain't got nothin' on Johnny "Guitar" Watson.

It's hard to believe, but in the late 1940s, Lightnin' Hopkins, Johnny Copeland, Joe Hughes, Albert Collins and Little Joe Washington were all living within a few blocks of one another in the Third Ward. And until 1950, there was even a sixth musical great among them, a boogie-woogie pianist's son named Johnny "Guitar" Watson, who moved to Los Angeles when he was 15.

As famous and talented as Hopkins, Copeland and Collins all were, Watson had more influence than all of the rest of them. In fact, you can make a case for Watson's having been one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century. Where most bluesmen had to scuffle to survive through the 1970s disco and funk boom, Watson was just about the only one who not only survived but actually thrived, and he did it all by simply playing the same greasy and funky Third Ward blues riffs amid more updated arrangements. Watson never sold his soul; he just put new beats behind it from time to time. ... [MORE]


A real mother for ya


Artists  Blues  Rhythm and Blues  
 
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