The Legend of the Crossroads -
It's a gloomy night at a crossroads on a rural Mississippi plantation in the early 1930's. A struggling blues musician named Robert Johnson has a burning desire to play his guitar better than anyone else. At this lonely intersection, the Devil waits for Johnson. With the moon shining down, the Devil plays a few songs on Johnson's guitar. When Robert Johnson gets his guitar back, he has complete mastery over the instrument. His soul now belongs to the supernatural being, and for the next 5 years or so, he creates music that will live past his tragic, suspicious death in 1938 at the age of 27.
The story is legend; an entertaining tale told by traveling bluesmen through the South that eventually seeped into popular culture. But the astounding music Robert Johnson left behind continues to influence music more than 70 years after his death. His poetic lyrics and the sense of dread and doom he brought to his songs inspired Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Muddy Waters, Jack White, John Mayer and countless others both famous and unknown.
John Dee Holeman is one of those supremely talented blues musicians you've probably never heard of. He learned his art from Blind Boy Fuller and was influenced by Lightnin' Hopkins. For many of his 86 years, he's traveled the backroads of North Carolina, playing his guitar in both the Piedmont and Texas style. John received a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship and has toured America, Europe and Asia continuing the blues tradition.
John Dee Holeman discovered the Martin 000-42 later in life. It's the perfect guitar for playing mournful, dark Delta blues.
And you don't have to sell your soul to do it.
Continue your journey to find the Crossroads with photos on Flickr, then go behind the scenes with our Facebook album, and finally check out a video of John Dee Holeman in action on Youtube. Photos by Jimmy Williams.
John Dee is represented by the The Music Maker Relief Foundation which helps the true pioneers and forgotten heroes of Southern music gain recognition and meet their day to day needs. For more information visit: www.musicmaker.org
Program Encourages Guitar Players to Try Out New SP Lifespan Strings and Recycle Old Strings For A New, Free Set
NAZARETH, PA - September 26, 2011 - C.F. Martin & Co. (www.martinguitar.com) is partnering with Martin Dealers to promote the Great Martin String Swap and Challenge. With many events already scheduled throughout the fall, Martin will be promoting their SP Lifespan Acoustic Guitar Strings through a program that lets guitar players try out the SP Lifespan strings, compare them to other brands, and recycle old strings for a new set for free!
Remarked Martin Strings Sales Manager Jerry Lawlor, "Players love the challenge - everybody likes to grab a Martin guitar and strum, and everybody is a winner - taking home a free set of SP Lifespan strings."Lawlor has been conducting many of the challenges, including at the National Folk Festival in Nashville over the Labor Day weekend.
The Great Martin String Challenge puts the strings in the hands of guitar players and challenges them to identify the type of string: traditional, coated, and treated. Using three identical Martin guitars, players have a chance to sample each set of strings. Players are asked to identify the type and their preference. Everybody taking the challenge receives a free set of SP Lifespan for participating. SP Lifespan acoustic guitar strings, treated with Cleartone technology, offer the latest in long-life string technology. Cleartone treatment technology does not add any significant mass to the string like other coatings and does not flake or peel. The treatment also leaves the windings open to create a vibrant and active string with bright tone out of the box.
The Great Martin String Swap invites consumers to bring in used sets of guitar strings in exchange for a new set of SP Lifespan strings from C. F. Martin & Co. and Martin will recycle the strings at their Nazareth, PA facility. Guitar strings can be included in most community recycling programs and string swap is designed to raise awareness for responsible recycling.
Key retailers like Sam Ash, George's Music , and Daddy's Junky Music have already scheduled or held Swap and Challenge events. Consumers can find the schedule of events at martinstrings.com.
About Martin Guitar & Strings
C.F Martin & Co. (www.martinguitar.com) has been creating the finest instruments in the world for over 175 years. It continues to innovate, introducing techniques and features that have become industry standards including X-bracing, the 14-fret guitar and the "Dreadnought" size.
One of the world's leading acoustic instrument makers, Martin guitars are hand-made by skilled craftsmen and women, who use a combination of new design and techniques along with those introduced by the company founder.
The company is also known for producing high-quality, popular acoustic guitar strings. These include the Martin SP® LIFESPAN™ line - the fastest-growing treated string in the industry, and the Martin SP line - which uses an industry leading core wire to hold tunings better.
Martin guitars and Martin Strings are the instruments and strings of choice for musicians around the world, from the icons of rock, country, folk and bluegrass to those just beginning their careers. They can be seen across all segments of pop culture, from television (Glee, Psych, Raising Hope and American Idol) to the movies; on Broadway and in books, online, and gracing the covers of popular magazines on newsstands everywhere. Connect with Martin and Martin Strings on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and via www.martinguitar.com and www.martinstrings.com.