Sunday, 5 October 2008

Charlie Patton: From 78s, to iTunes!

This record used to be the only way that anyone had a chance of being exposed to a musician such as Charlie (or Charley) Patton, or Blind Willie Johnson -- that is, unless you had been lucky enough to see them in person.

Then again, in the time of pre-war blues, the musicians were incredibly obscure. There was no powerful or instantaneous media to spread the word about your music; no national tours; very few, if any, music magazines, to give your record a good review... you get the idea. It must have been tough, to say the very least. In fact, it was very difficult for musicians of that time period to achieve any recognition, at all -- beyond the area in which they lived. In fact, most of the frame that musicians such as Patton achieved, occurred posthumously.

Now, we find ourselves in the age of digital music. It had brought about a really strange phenomenon -- which was helped along by the blues revival, in the 1960s. Through services like iTunes and, it's now possible to gain almost instant access to music. Along with the obvious addition of what is in the charts at the time, it is possible to find some very good (and in some cases obscure) music.

Also, it's possible for music fans to communicate on a much larger scale; by virtue of the Internet. So, all of a sudden, I have the opportunity to listen to Charlie Patton , Robert Johnson, Son House, Blind Willie Johnson, and so many others.

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