Fast and Funky
Baltimore Blues Society
Johnson heeded Davis' advice to play the "hard chords," and his picking is clean, melodic, firm, delicate and harmonically complex. All of the 14 songs here are strong: "Charley Stone," about a traveling trombone player, is a favorite, as is the upbeat "Pick Poor Robin Clean" and the classic "Frisco Blues."
One omission is the absence of any authorship or publishing information, though I imagine that some are Johnson's arrangements of traditional tunes and others are original compositions. But it's a minor complaint; Fast and Funky includes the original and updated liner notes and the original cover photo of Johnson in a vintage pinstripe suit with a vintage guitar. We are in the debt of the Baltimore Blues Society for making this marvelous album available to a whole new generation.
-- Jennifer Zogott