2nd Blues Caravan for 2009!

Robert "One Man" Johnson

April 16, 2009

Checkers Tavern & Eatery
3120 6th St. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA

Show starts at 7PM!

A big thanks to all the bands, LCBS volunteers, club owners and everyone else who helped make this series of Blues Caravans an overwhelming success!
Check out their history here!

We look forward to continuing these instructional and entertaining series of Blues presentations.

If you would like to get involved, please contact us or attend an LCBS Board of Directors meeting held the first Monday of every month.
Thanks again for all your support!

Robert "One-Man" Johnson performed at Checkers on a Thursday night, March 5th.  Johnson has been playing and singing the blues for over forty years.  He has performed throughout the United States and in many countries.         Currently living in Iowa City, blues fans will have more chances to see him perform locally--at least through summer.  I first appreciated his musical talents back in the late seventies in Iowa City.  He's only gotten better with age.

A Wisconsin native, Johnson is both performer and educator.  He knows hundreds of traditional blues songs and has written just as many original tunes himself.  As a one-man band, he plays guitar, harmonica, a twelve-note footpiano, and hi-hat cymbals.

 Johnson and his wife, Margery, are world travelers. They have lived in Japan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and China.  She is an arts educator and Robert is a language arts teacher. These multi-cultural experiences have shaped a musical world view that is unusual for most blues performers.  Wherever  Johnson has lived and worked, people have wanted to share music with him.

Some of Johnson's guitars are truncated for air travel.  The peg head is removed so that they will fit into the overhead luggage compartments on an airplane. Tuning is done on the other end.

Johnson mixes his interpretation of traditional blues covers with his own compositions.  This makes for a most entertaining evening.  This night I enjoyed his original songs:  "No Money Down,"  "Flusteration Blues," "Shanghai Mama," and "Hypochondria."   Even his brief introduction of each song is a sparkling educational enterprise.

Although he has retired his old 1936 National steel guitar in home storage, Johnson's custom modified Owens Crossroads aluminum guitar is a beautiful instrument that sounds great when played with a bottleneck slide.  Easy-going "One-Man" loves interacting with his audience and will cheerfully explain during breaks how all his musical devices were created.  This night, his guitars, footpiano, hi-hat, and microphone were sitting on an gorgeous authentic Turkish carpet.  One of the perks of living in a larger world.

Robert and his wife claim to be retired and collecting social security in Iowa City.  But I don't believe it.  He told me that the recent economic downturn has really hurt their investment income, and that his wife has an opportunity to do a one-year arts education stint in Thailand come Autumn. Sing me the blues!  I think the traveling "new culture" bug has hit again.

Be sure to go hear one of Robert "One-Man" Johnson's performances in the next few months--while he's still around and on home ground.  The guy can really sing and play the blues!

Also, really cool Caravan buttons are available! They'll look just like the Caravan logo below. We just couldn't help ourselves. Ask David Andrews, our LCBS Merchandise Maven, about these cool, Caravan buttons!
See you at the Blues Caravan!

The Blues Caravan is a roving juke joint exploring the roots of the American music, the Blues. The Blues Caravan is hosted by KCCK's Bobby DeForest.

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