A singer/guitarist known for two essential albums in the funk sphere – Ain’t That a Bitch and A Real Mother For You – Johnny Watson was first of all a highly respected bluesman with close ties to the R&B scene of the Fifties. When Johnny Watson’s grandfather died, he left his grandson a guitar, but Grandma insisted that Johnny shouldn’t ever play “the devil’s music” – the blues – on such a “holy” instrument that had accompanied so many gospels… Johnny at once thought about nothing else. In Los Angeles he would spend the Fifties under the influence of Amos Milburn and Chuck Higgins, with whom he played for a time before creating his own group to trawl through every club in the city. “I was doing things like Jimi Hendrix, fifteen years before [him] playing guitar with my teeth, hanging from the rafters and doing double gigs with Guitar Slim … we used to work together in clubs with 30 foot guitarleads, sit on each others shoulders and walk out into the audience”. Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s shows left an indelible mark. He gave each period in his career a personal stamp that made him an original character: he marked every style he played in, whether it was blues, R&B or funk. The first two styles appear on all four sides of this album, leaving the funk for Ain’t That a Bitch and A Real Mother For You.
It is the fusion of Gospel, Blues and Jazz that gives birth to new rhythms during the 50’s in the United States. Black artists are the first ones to associate upbeat tempo with jazz and blues. But it is a revolution of the minds that gives to the 50’s its frenetic momentum that rocks the old world into the modern world. Every single area is touched by the revolution : music and painting, obviously, but also and maybe mainly society at large, ways of consuming, the new industrial era, urban life, advertising, marketing and design. The movement develops in every dimension. Rock’n’Roll is the permanent mark left by the youth of that time, embracing the new world and giving it the rhythm that fits.
The Masters of Rock collection traces back the history of these great Rock’n’Roll figures without whom Rock and music in general would not be what they are today. And just like a natural phenomenon, Rock was born at the same time as the LP, absolute revolution in the music world which marked every generation since 1950 and until today. The world could not go round without the collection that pays homage to Vinyl Records and Rock’nRoll : Masters of Rock