Stream God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson featuring Lucinda Williams, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi, Tom Waits, and others - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Album cover courtesy of Alligator Records

God Don’t Never Change is a new tribute album to gospel blues legend Blind Willie Johnson. The album features contributions from Lucinda Williams, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Rickie Lee Jones, Luther Dickinson, Cowboy Junkies, two songs by Tom Waits, and others.

Blind Willie Johnson’s life has been shrouded in mystery, but scholars, most notably the album’s liner notes author, Michael Corcoran, have unearthed a few details.

Born in Pendleton, Texas in 1897, Johnson grew up around Marlin, Texas. A legendary story has his stepmother, in a fit of rage, throwing lye in his face when he was a child, blinding him for life. From his teenage years, he traveled the region as a street singer, moving between Dallas, Galveston, Houston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio (even travelling as far as New York City) and finally settling in Beaumont, where he thundered out his street corner evangelism. He died in 1945 in Beaumont, Texas at the age of 48.

Johnson recorded 30 incredibly moving and inspirational sides for Columbia Records, drawing on sacred songs and blues. He played slide guitar, sang in a raspy, growling, voice, and was best known for songs like his version of the traditional “John The Revelator,” “Nobody’s Fault But Mine,” “The Soul Of A Man,” and “You’re Gonna Need Someboday On Your Bond.”

Below, listen to God Don’t Never Change via Pitchfork below.

God Don’t Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson is out February 26th on Alligator Records. Pre-order it here.

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