Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Featured Artist - Syl Johnson (Part One)

Syl Johnson has an almost perfect CV as a blues/soul performer.  He has played with Junior Wells, Billy Boy Arnold, Shakey Jake, Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, Magic Sam, Howling Wolf and on his first recording he was backed by none other than Freddie King.  One brother (Mac Thompson) was Magic Sam’s base player, another (Jimmy Johnson) is an established blues performer while his daughter Syleena Johnson (see what they did there) has made a career in Soul / R&B, including the hit All Falls Down which she recorded in 2004 with rapper Kanye West.  Syl's recordings have been sampled by a number of hip-hop artists including Public Enemy and Wu-Tang Clan.  Syl's finest recordings were with Twinight in Chicago and Hi in Memphis and regular posts this month will bring a selection of tunes from across the highlights of his career, plus some of the hip-hop performers who have drawn from them.  Here's the first:

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