Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Old Blues Man Zeke Johnson

After the Bob Dylan concert I ran into Zeke Johnson. I met Mr. Zeke a couple of months ago while photographing him and Chris "Screaming Eagle" Nanney for Mr. Zeke is a self-professed, "old blues man" with a CV to prove it. He learned from and played guitar with Furry Lewis.

Lewis is a bonafide, old-time, blues musician who has inspired countless illustrious Rock'n Roll guitarists including Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. Lewis is a Blues legend and I cannot believe that I am holding court with one of his students!

One by one my group of friends gather around Mr. Zeke, who is sitting on the bench. He does not miss an opportunity to share a life experience. In a soft spoken tone he commands the conversation by regaling a story about Furry Lewis, his wife, and her fabulous double chocolate cake. The group is traveling for a gig in Arkansas. Mrs Johnson packed a basket of food. When asked how the cake tastes Lewis tells Mrs Johnson it is horrible. Mr. Zeke interjects, "The cake is not horrible; it is award winning. I have the recipe and can make it just like she did." Lewis schemes two pieces of chocolate cake from Mrs. Johnson by declaring the cake to be poisonous. When asked why he needs a second piece of cake, especially since it is so bad, Lewis claims he is protecting everyone else who may eat a piece of cake by taking two.

To preserve the moment I asked Mr Zeke if he would allow our picture to be taken. He permitted our photograph to be made.

As I walk Mr. Zeke to the car, driven by Screaming Eagle, he gave me his phone number and house address and said, "Keep in touch." I am in awe of this man. I cannot wait to listen to more of his stories!

*I'm holding my arm funnily across my midsection because I have a pinched nerve in my neck that was caused by the car wreck two weeks ago.

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