Episode 21: Deal With The Devil



Music doesn’t make sense. We, as humans, respond to the essential emotion in notes and melodies without analysis or forethought. It’s a natural, innate language that we all seem to speak. Or is it? Only humans seem to possess this natural affinity for music. Sure, birds sing, but they don’t *preform*, their songs are lingual substitutes. We are the only ones who choose to sing when we don’t need to. We are also the only ones who can lie, bargain with gods, fret over the state of our immortal soul or troll others on the Internet. So this whole music thing has always made people… Nervous. Music, in some ways, seems unnatural; and if you’ve ever seen any portrayal of life before ~yesterday, you’ll know that all unnatural things are… Of the devil. There is a long association between musicians and the devil; (yes, even before Charlie Daniels said so). This week we will take a look at why that might be. From Paganini to Robert Johnson we’ll explore what master musicians have gotten in return for selling their souls. So, join us at the crossroads as we ask, what’s the connection between the Faustian bargain and the gods of music.

Stream Full Episode on iTunes

Sam had the chance to speak with Shelley Ritter, the Director of the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi about the blues, Robert Johnson, and the origin of “The Devil’s Music”

Learn more about the Delta Blues Museum

Stream Full Interview on iTunes 

Can’t You Hear The Wind Howl? The Life and Music of Robert Johnson – Trailer

 Devil Contracts

Faust – Pact with the Devil

Rattlesnake Ridge – American Folklore

The Devil’s Fiddle: Mephistopheles the Music Man

The Creation of the Violin – Gypsy Stories

Paganini, How The Great Violinist Was Helped By A Rare Medical Condition



Searching for Robert Johnson: Portrait of a Phantom – Vanity Fair

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