Netflix Recommendation: ReMastered: Devil at the Crossroads (2019)

Partial lyrics from Robert Johnson’s song “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom”

I’m gonna write a letter

Telephone every town I know

I’m gonna write a letter

Telephone every town I know

If I can’t find her in West Helena

She must be in East Monroe I know

devilatthecrossroads

Netflix has these remastered stories about musicians.  One of them is about Robert Johnson.  This short documentary about the supposed deal he made with the Devil to become one of the best guitar players covers bits and pieces of his life including commentary by his relatives.  It’s enough to realize how heartbreak after heartbreak led his marriage to drinking and his guitar.  There’s obscurity in how he died with strychnine poisoning and contracting syphilis as the two main theories.  He was only 27 when he died in 1937, but as the documentary points out he influenced the likes of Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, and Robert Plant.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame credits four of his songs to shaping the rock and roll genre: “Sweet Home Chicago” (1936), “Cross Road Blues (1936), “Hellhound on my Trail (1937), and “Love in Vain” (1937).  Johnson was rated the best guitar player out of 35 by Spin magazine in 1990, fifth greatest guitarist out of 100 by Rolling Stone magazine in 2008, and ninth top guitarist out of 50 by Guitar.com in 2010.

*******

Executive Producers: Irving Azoff, Stu Schreiberg, Jeff Zimbalist, and Michael Zimbalist

Director: Brian Oakes

Writers:  Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist

Major Cast: Taj Mahal, Keb’ Mo’, and Bonnie Raitt

Rating: NA but I would say TV-MA

Running Time: 48 minutes

robertjohnson
Robert Johnson with cigarette and guitar

I rate ReMastered: Devil at the Crossroads Four Fingers at 90%

pcratingfour

2019

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