Cross Road Blues Analysis

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Music Analysis Essay
Song 1
I have selected ‘Cross Roads Blues’ written and recorded by Robert Johnson in 1936, one of the best Delta Blues singer, song-writer and musician (May 8, 1911-August 16 1938). Robert Johnson performed ‘Cross Roads Blues’ as a solo piece with his vocal and acoustic slide guitar in the style of Delta Blues, produced by Don Law. This song has become a part of Robert Johnson’s mythology because in this song he is talking about the place where he met the devil and sold his soul to the devil in exchange of his musical talent, even though lyrics do not comprehend those references.
‘Cross Roads Blues’ prove that Johnson’s singing style and impressive guitar skills, still copied by Blues and Rock n’ Roll musicians to this
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(Monophonica 2009). He used the same guitar for his recording in Cross Roads Blues. “Cross Road Blues” is a typical example of the nominal composition and expressive style related with Delta Blues. Johnson uses just acoustic guitar, played with fingerstyle picking in the right hand, and a mixture of regular fingering and bottleneck “slide” in the left. “Slide” is a method in which a sawed-off glass bottleneck or metal tube is slipped over one of the left-hand fingers in order to be able to slide over the strings from one fret to the other (“Frets” are the thin pieces of wood that are inlaid horizontally across a guitar neck, indicating where the fingers should press in order to create specific notes, or pitches.) The use of both the bottleneck and the bending of strings by the left hand delivers the player with the capability to slide from one group of pitches or chord to another. This sliding or “bending” of pitch is also a hallmark of the blues vocal style. Johnson’s singing style also proves the “holler” that is strongly characteristic of Delta blues and a number of other African-American musical…show more content…
It has become a very significant piece of Jazz, Modal Jazz and Standard Jazz. There are numerous people in Jazz industry who will tell you and even debate with you in most influential manner that the album ‘Kind of blue’ is the greatest Jazz record ever made and this song is the best example of Modal Jazz. “Kind of Blue brought together seven legendary musicians in the prime of their careers: tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, alto saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, drummer Jimmy Cobb and of course, trumpeter Miles
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