In 2013, producer Jeffrey Gaskill launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring his long-gestating Blind Willie Johnson tribute album to fruition. On February 26th, he’ll finally see his vision realized when God Don’t Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson is released via Alligator. Ahead of the release, the entire record is streaming below.
God Don’t Never Change sees a number of musicians covering the iconic and influential blues maestro known for his thumb-picking style. Most notably, Tom Waits contributes two songs, “The Soul of a Man” and the epochal “John the Revelator”. With his gravel-laden voice, Waits turns the first into a swinging blues number, while the latter is presented in his own singular style, a stomping, smokey rendition that’s as intimidating as it is beautiful.
Elsewhere, Lucinda Williams sings the title track and “It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine”, Sinéad O’Connor turns in “Tourble Will Soon Be Over”, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi do “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning”, and The Blind Boys of Alabama cover “Mother’s Children Have a Hard Time”. Cowboy Junkies, Rickie Lee Jones, Maria McKee, and Luther Dickinson featuring The Rising Star Fife & Drum Band also contribute. Stream the whole thing below.
God Don’t Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson Tracklist:
01. Tom Waits – “The Soul of a Man”
02. Lucinda Williams – “It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine”
03. Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi – “Keep Your Limp Trimmed and Burning”
04. Cowboy Junkies – “Jesus is Coming Soon”
05. The Blind Boys of Alabama – “Mother’s Children Have a Hard Time”
06. Sinéad O’Connor – “Trouble Will Be Over Soon”
07. Luther Dickinson featuring The Rising Star Fife & Drum Band – “Bye and Bye I’m Goin’ to See the King”
08. Lucinda Williams – “God Don’t Never Change”
09. Tom Waits – “John the Revelator”
10. Maria McKee – “Let Your Light Shine on Me”
11. Rickie Lee Jones – “Dark Was the Night – Cold Was the Ground”