Rory Block's New Album

The spirit of Robert Johnson and the Delta Blues tradition come to life on Rory Block's debut Rykodisc release, "The Lady and Mr. Johnson." The recording, comprised entirely of Robert Johnson's music, is set for release on August 15th and may be the most compelling and important release in the celebrated blueswoman's 40-year career.

Block's approach to the blues of Robert Johnson is with the clear vision of an insider, one who, according to The New York Times, has "wrestled with ghosts, shadows and legends." An expert slide guitarist and a masterful singer, Rory Block's unmatched understanding of the complexity and form of Robert Johnson's music has gained her the resounding support and encouragement of the Johnson family and the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation. The album features thirteen of the King of the Delta Blues' classics stripped down to the very essence of vocals and acoustic guitar, and includes haunting staples such as "Cross Road Blues, " "Walking Blues" and "Terraplane Blues."

With "The Lady and Mr. Johnson, " Block's skill, passion, and pure emotion are on display evoking the spirit of the late, great Robert Johnson. This album is a testament not only to his legacy but to the talent and commitment of Rory Block, an artist seemingly pre-destined to walk in his presence rather than his shadow.

Block's first album was released in the mid-1960s. Three decades and twenty albums later, Block has seen her efforts crowned with numerous accolades including two Acoustic Blues Album of the Year awards and being named Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year at the W.C. Handy Awards in 1997 and 1998. People Magazine states, "If you like music steeped in tradition and genuine feeling, this is your woman." And Rolling Stone says, "...some of the most singular and affecting country blues anyone, man or woman, black or white, old or young, has cut in recent years."

Block tours to support "The Lady and Mr. Johnson." Aptly titled "Down at the Crossroads: Blues Meets Gospel, " the shows will feature the music of Robert Johnson performed by Rory Block and the soul-stirring gospel of the Straightway Ministries Choir of Utica, Mississippi, which includes Robert Johnson's grandson, Elder Steven Johnson. According to Block, the concerts will, "celebrate two spirit-filled forms of American music -- African American blues and gospel -- demonstrating the intimate connection between the two, healing the gap, and removing the stigma whereby blues has sometimes been labeled 'the music of the devil.'

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