Johnny Shines – Standing at the Crossroads (Testament, 1971)

Although bluesman Johnny Shines is remembered today as a running buddy of the famous Robert Johnson, he was actually much more than a fellow traveler. Shines grew up in Tennessee, soaking up the Beale Street sound in Memphis learning at the foot of Howlin’ Wolf. He roamed depression era America for a couple of years in the mid 30’s with Johnson, before settling down in Chicago. After leaving the music business to work in the construction trade, Shines began performing and recording again during the so-called “blues revival” of the 1960’s. This recording finds him revisiting the Johnson years, playing in an evocative solo acoustic format and revisiting some of the older mans music. Shines music is

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SqueezeMyLemon: Old Stack-O-lee Blues

Great video overview of the folk standard known as “stack-o-lee” or “stagger lee”, which has been performed in many, many versions over the years. It’s a great example of songs which were passed along in the oral tradition, in an era when mass communication was rare, and folk stories often were the primary source of history:

SqueezeMyLemon: Old Stack-O-lee Blues.