I can never seem to get enough of Robert Johnson. Either his music or the story of his life. So, hats off to Bruce M. Conforth & Gayle Dean Wardlow for writing "Up Jumped the Devil" The Real Life of Robert Johnson.
Through painstaking research and interviews the two authors have uncovered and cleared up questions about RJ's life, death, marriages, music and recordings. I finished this book with a deeper understanding of the man and the musician. His struggles, disappointments, loses, choices and his demons are brought too light. Uncovered is the myth of the deal with the Devil at the crossroads. His lust for wandering, women and alcohol that all eventually led to his early demise is written as a search for truth and with deep appreciation for one of music's most important figures.
I've read many books over the years about the blues and several about Mr. Johnson. I couldn't wait to finish this read and uncover the truth. I was left with a sadness for the man and his untimely death/murder and the loss to the world and to the world of music. Who knows, what might have been if he had lived? Would he have given us more great music, become the father that he wanted to be and, enjoy the celebrity that he has become?
We can only speculate, but given what he left us, (listen to "The complete recordings of Robert Johnson") I'd like to believe it would have been worth a deal with Devil! Just kidding