For Immediate Release: May 13, 2010
or Shane Ford, 469/226-1042, firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas Blues Legend, Blind Willie JohnsonÕs Burial Site Found. Tribute Show with Ruthie Foster, Jon Dee Graham and many more
(Austin, Tex.) – Marking the 65th year since his death, the first ever tribute to Blind Willie Johnson will be at MomoÕs, 618 West 6th Street Austin, June 3, 2010 at ??? p.m. Having recently located his burial site, the Blind Willie Johnson Memorial Fund organizers are raising awareness of his music and the funds to erect a cenotaph in Blanchette Cemetery, Beaumont, Tex. where he was buried in 1945.
Seminal gospel-blues artist Blind Willie Johnson is regarded as one of the greatest bottleneck slide guitarists. Yet the Texas street-corner evangelist is known as much for the his powerful and fervent gruff voice as he is for his ability as a guitarist. The show features Ruthie Foster, Jon Dee Graham, Kirby Kelley, Jimmy "Preacher" Ellis Band, Biscuit Rollers with Orange Jefferson and Thierry Cognee, Scott H. Biram, Mark Searcy, and Harry Bodine.
Tickets are available at Front Gate tickets for $15 or $18 at the door. There will be a silent auction of a signed limited edition record from Third Man Records. For more information please contact the Blind Willie Johnson Memorial Fund at email@example.com.
The founders, Anna Obek and Shane Ford, began researching Mr. JohnsonÕs life in 2007. Their efforts have uncovered the cemetery where Johnson is buried, as well as previously unknown information regarding Mr. JohnsonÕs life and whereabouts. Their research has been compiled onto their website www.blindwilliejohnsonfund.com. With the help of the Jefferson County Historical Commission and Museum of the Gulf Coast, they were instrumental in getting a Texas Historical Marker approved at Mr. JohnsonÕs last known residence in Beaumont, known as the ÒHouse of Prayer.Ó Their love and support of Mr. JohnsonÕs music and Texas blues has pushed their hard work and dedication.
ÒIt has been a struggle to garner support for Mr. JohnsonÕs legacy, that is why we have organized this tribute, to get him the memorial he deserves and to support past and future blues and gospel artists,Ó says Ford.
Blind Willie Johnson is considered one of the best slide guitarists of all time. Johnson's "Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground" was included on the VoyagerÕs Golden Record alongside Bach, Mozart, Chuck Berry, the sound of a heartbeat and others to portray the diversity and culture of life on Earth, should any intelligent life form find it.
JohnsonÕs life was that of a true blues musician, full of struggles and pain. Blinded as a young child, Johnson made his living by playing on the streets of Texas cities. Legend
has it that Johnson was arrested for nearly starting a riot when singing ÒIf I Had My Way IÕd Tear This Building DownÓ in front of a courthouse in New Orleans. He died in 1945 from malarial fever after sleeping in the ruined of his burned home in the Texas heat in Beaumont.
Ry Cooder described Johnson's "Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground," as "the most soulful, transcendent piece in all American music."
Be a part of the preservation of Texas blues and join us at Blind Willie JohnsonÕs tribute.