A new album paying tribute to Blind Willie Johnson is about to be released, including covers of his blues tracks by Tom Waits, Sinead O’Connor, Lucinda Williams and more.
The album has long been in the making, with producer Jeffrey Gaskill raising funds for the tribute via Kickstarter back in 2013. Now, the album will finally see the light of day on February 26 via Alligator, but the whole thing can be streamed below.
Titles God Don’t Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson, Tom Waits has lent his gravelly vocals to The Soul Of A Man and John The Revelator (which has been covered by a tonne of other artists, including Son House, REM, Nick Cave, Frank Black and The White Stripes.) Meanwhile, Williams performed It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine, and O’Connor covered Trouble Will Be Over Soon.
The influential gospel blues singer was most active throughout the late 1920s. He left a massively lasting impression on the music world, in particular the origins of blues and rock, with many of his songs being hailed as incredibly influential on artists to follow – many have been reworked and recorded by others across the years since his death in 1945.
Other artist who can be found on the tribute album include Cowboy Junkies, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Maria McKee, Rickie Lee Jones and Luther Dickinson.