Probably the most influential bluesman of all time, Robert Johnson's slim legacy of just 29 recordings had a seismic effect on generations of guitar players, from Muddy Waters to Eric Clapton and Jack White. Undoubtedly influenced by Delta blues legends such as Son House, Johnson added the walking basslines and syncopated rhythms of boogie-woogie, and simultaneously played bass and lead lines with a preternatural precision, whilst singing in an eerie high register that spawned the legend of his talents, having been bestowed by the Devil in exchange for his soul. His mysterious death (which has been variously blamed on poisoned whiskey from a jealous lover, the Devil claiming his prize or maybe just a genetic heart condition), only added to the myth, but there is no denying the lasting power of haunting tracks such as Terraplane Blues, Hellhound On My Trail and Come On In My Kitchen. His influence cannot be quantified, it is so huge, and it continues, to this day.
Followers: Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan
Influenced By: Charley Patton, Son House, Ike Zinnerman...