Lonnie Johnson plays It’s Too Late to Cry Baby. Taken from the American Folk Blues Festival: The British Tours recorded in England.
The American Folk Blues Festival was a music festival that toured Europe. It was an annual event for several years beginning in 1962. It introduced audiences in Europe, including the UK, to leading blues performers of the day. Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker and Sonny Boy Williamson played on the festival. Most of them had never previously performed outside the US. The tours attracted substantial media coverage, including TV shows, and contributed to the growth of the audience for blues music in Europe.
As a guitarist, Lonnie Johnson was ahead of his time. He had great playing technique and imagination, and his musical ideas were ahead of the time. He exerted a tremendous influence on his contemporary musicians, but even greater influence on future musicians. The list of musicians influenced by him includes such names as T-Bone Walker, Charlie Christian, Big Bill Broonzy, Lowell Fulson, Sam Lightnin ‘Hopkins, Willie McTell, Henry Townsend, Albert King, B.B. King, Freddy King, Johnny Shines, Django Reinhardt and many more.
Blues is a musical genre known as the folklore of African-American musicians. Its origins are associated with the southern states of the USA, that is the region conventionally called the “deep south”. The very name of the genre (sadness, despair) is related to its nostalgic form, also in the textual layer. Blues pieces touch male-female relationships as well as feelings and emotions (love, loneliness, faithfulness, jealousy). However, blues performers often sing about freedom, work and travel. The songs also feature social criticism relating mainly to racial inequality and political issues.
Many artists are inspired by blues music and combine it with other styles. In this way, such musical mergers as punk blues, soul blues or blues rock. The popularity of this genre in the USA has led to the emergence of regional varieties, such as Louisiana, New Orleans, Texas and Detroit blues. There are also factions characteristic of other countries – British blues and African blues.