Paul Williams Set – In Memory Of Robert Johnson R.I.P. (1971)

FrontCover1Paul Williams (born Paul Nigel Vincent Yarlett; 19 September 1940 – 1 March 2019) was an English blues and rock singer and musician.

During his early career he joined Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band on bass and vocals, alongside the guitarist Andy Summers.

He then replaced John McVie in John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, while also recording with Aynsley Dunbar and Dick Heckstall-Smith.

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In 1970 he joined the band Juicy Lucy as lead vocalist and recorded the album Lie Back and Enjoy It. This band included future Whitesnake guitarist Micky Moody and featured in the 1971 film Bread.[4] Williams later collaborated with Moody on the album Smokestacks, Broomdusters and Hoochie Coochie Men in 2002.

In 1973 he joined the progressive rock group Tempest, led by Jon Hiseman on drums with Mark Clarke on bass and Allan Holdsworth on guitar. After relocating to the United States, he joined Holdsworth in the group known as I.O.U. and recorded the three critically acclaimed albums I.O.U., Road Games and Metal Fatigue.

His most recent touring band had been Blue Thunder, with release in collaboration with David Hentschel in 2018 of Blue Thunder 2. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a brilliant tribute to Robert Johnson:

In Memory of Robert Johnson, remains a timeless tribute to its namesake. Although the production quality of the original 1973 release was remarkable even by today’s standards, the music has taken on an additional level of eloquence and brilliance in this artfully re-mastered version.

The life of Robert Johnson is shrouded in mystery. Some say the legendary blues artist went to the crossroads and made a deal with the devil to be able to play with such emotional power. In any case, his music never relieved his personal sufferings. Most of his recordings were made in the back rooms of Texas hotels and office buildings. Only Terraplane Blues came close to being a hit, even in the restricted race market of the time. Johnson’s difficult life finally ended in 1938 under violent circumstances, yet his music became immortal. During the blues revival of the 60s and early 70s, his songs were resurrected by Captain Beefheart, Cream, The Rolling Stones, and others.

The German edition:
German Edition

English singer, blues guitarist and harmonica player, Paul Williams, was impressed when he heard some of Johnson’s original recordings, which were made available to the public in the late 60s. Williams was so moved, in fact, that he gathered together some of England’s most prominent blues musicians and went into London’s Trident Studios. The resulting sessions faithfully captured the essence of Johnson’s style while providing a showcase from some of the finest musicians of the English blues revival.

Alternate frontcovers:
Altermate FrontCovers

“What we found in Robert Johnson’s music was the authenticity of a man’s life,” stresses the album’s producer and acoustic guitarist Jon Mark, who was highly regarded for his work with blues legend John Mayall. “You have to understand that before the blues revival, we’d had Frank Sinatra singing slick, middle of the road material. Then all of a sudden young people became aware of the blues. We were really impressed with the ability of these black blues musicians to convey a pure sense of the truth. The blues was the most direct way of communicating the pain and the suffering of life, and Robert Johnson really lived it. So you can see why on this session there was a real concern of being purists, of not adulterating the music for our own purposes, but trying to recreate it or interpret it with great respect for the original source.”

Robert Johnson

Williams and Mark were joined on this recording by steel guitarist Glenn Campbell, pianist Bob Hall, bassists Keith Ellis and Pat Donaldson, lead guitarist Eddie Yarlett, and guitarists Alun Davies and Spencer Davis. (press relase)

The Brazil edition:
Brazil Edition

This is not the Paul Williams of Bluegrass fame.

This Paul Williams knows Robert Johnson inside out. He brings more blues and passion to the treatment of this material than any of the White bread treatments by Eric Clapton or Peter Green. One can almost hear that old time Delta sound in this album by someone who knows the blues and has lived it. If one can’t get passed the scratchy sounds of the original Robert Johnson, this album is a good place to start. If you can get passed that, get the original, and then listen to the guys who taught Johnson his licks, such as Lonnie Johnson, Scrapper Blackwell, Blind Blake, and Charlie Patton. (Prometheus)

Indeed: a great tribute to one of the most impressive blues musicians we have ever had … and check the line-up !!!

But … who the fuck is Eddie Yarlett  ???


Glenn Ross Campbell (steel guitar)
Alun Davies (guitar)
Spencer Davis (guitar)
Keith Ellis (bass)
Bob Hall (piano)
Jon Mark (guitar)
Paul Williams (vocals, guitar, harmonica)
Eddie Yarlett (lead guitar)
Pat Donaldson (bass on 01. + 05.)

01. Terraplain Blues Version I 3:54
02. Crossroads 5:42
03. Kind Hearted Women Blues 3:56
04. If I Had Possession Over Judgement Dat. 3:40
05. Rambling Blues 4:28
06. When You Got A Good Friend 2:40
07. Come On In My Kitchen 3:58
08. Terraplain Blues Version II 4:32

All songs written by Robert Johnson



Liner Notes

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2 thoughts on “Paul Williams Set – In Memory Of Robert Johnson R.I.P. (1971)

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