Lonnie Johnson was the “governor” of blues guitar in the 1920’s. His playing combined incredibly fast melodic runs with evocative blues licks. His playing was the forerunner of jazz and rock guitar. Lonnie Johnson’s playing is highly challenging, provocative and exciting. His recordings from the 1920s were highly influential among bluesmen and widely imitated. His incredible skill on the fingerboard also made him popular among jazz players. Lonnie recorded countless solo records as well as accompanying Texas Alexander, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Eddie Lang. Though he did not possess a country blues background, the New Orleans-born guitarist exemplified a high caliber of musicianship while retaining a strong feeling for the blues. His fluid single note lines and advanced flat-picking technique served as a model for early jazz guitarists and a host of Delta bluesmen.
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