Just learned about Bob's death. I'm shocked and saddened. We've lost a musical genius - a virtuoso across so many genres. For my money, Bob's interpretations of Johnsonesque Delta blues was without equal. What monstrous strumming and slapping technique!
About 16 years ago, I had the great good fortune (misfortune?) of playing a short acoustic set at the Millpond Festival just prior to Bob's main act. When I came off of the stage, he couldn't have been more generous with his praise. This was akin to taking a few cuts in a batting cage, and upon emerging, being complimented by say, Ted Williams. I was unworthy, of course, but we got to talking, and I asked him how he was able to conjure such a huge singing voice -- Bob bellowed and moaned like Charlie Patton.
"Fear," he said.
In addition to his technical chops, Bob was a kind mentor, collaborator and was a passionate teacher of roots music. And he had a wicked keen wit.
At least we have some stellar memories of him. Like this one -- his rendition of Highway 49 Blues: