Robert Johnson – I’m Alive

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Not to be confused with one of the most famous bluesmen of all time or the Bob Johnson who strums lightly on records by jazz singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, the Memphis-based Robert Johnson has been recording since the early ’70s. Some early appearances were on recordings by the Hot Dogs, a band that featured Jack Holder and Greg Reding, later to cross the Mississippi River and become members of the raunchy hard-rocking Black Oak Arkansas.

Close Personal Friend By the late ’70s, Johnson had recorded a single with the Bell Heirs and had established a somewhat regular playing relationship with a rhythm section featuring bassist Dave Cochran and drummer Blair Cunningham. The Infinity label released the premier Johnson effort as a leader, an album entitled Close Personal Friend, yet a collection entitled Memphis Demos, which came out the following year, is considered to be a much better representation of his work, not the first time a musician’s more casual performances beat out a supposedly more serious album project.