Unfortunately, there are no Colorado covers of “Rain Rain Go Away,” at least any we’re aware of. So, here’s a new track from Pueblo country-blues artist Joe Johnson about rising water.
As the cliche goes, cliches are only cliche because they are true. There are similar truths found in the tropes blues musicians use to describe strife, one of which is flood waters. The heart of blues was born along the Mississippi, where the threat of flood is ever-present and terrifying. These songs express a feeling of powerlessness to nature, and today, tragically, many Coloradans are experiencing the truth of the flood trope.
Pueblo country-blues artist Joe Johnson’s song “Roll Back Muddy Water,” available for download below, follows this lineage. Johnson laments that he doesn’t need the worry of muddy water rolling in, begging for it to recede, because he already has enough to worry about. Drought, flood, fire — Colorado has its share of natural worries.
The track is found on Johnson’s LP “New West Sound,” which will be released Sept. 14 with a show at the Ivywild School in Colorado Springs. The album is on Blank Tape Records, a Pueblo record label that, while only five years old, releases the best of Colorado Americana, including The Haunted Windchimes and Grant Sabin. Fans of blues, country and bluegrass will fall in love with Johnson’s solid songwriting and rich, outlaw-country vocals. Do give the album a full listen. “Roll Back Muddy Water” is a little ditty compared to the other tracks. Inaiah Lujan of The Haunted Windchimes gets a production credit, and the production and arrangements of these songs are world-class. It’s truly a gorgeous, moving release perfect for days like today.
Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.
If you’re a band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Steal This Track for consideration.
Josh Johnson is a Denver freelance writer and Reverb contributor. He is also a co-host/co-producer of the Denver podcast Denver Diatribe. He’s also a journeyman butcher. Seriously.