Malted Milk

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Example Pre-War Blues Video Lesson

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Overview

This song can be grouped with Drunken Hearted Man as part of a ‘Lonnie Johnson section’ for RJ’s use of Lonnie-like full, lush chords, and moaning single note bends. Even beyond that, much of the guitar structure is very uncharacteristic of RJ — staccato double stops to accompany the 4 chord, and the descending double stops that come just before then.

That’s just from the thought that more typical Robert Johnson sounds like Son House’s and/or Charley Patton’s influence. Like in the section coming up for his Spanish tuning playing, or even just that more classic Texas blues-like monotone bassline blues of the Double Stop family.

Reportedly, RJ wore his “Johnson” last name proudly, since Lonnie was one of his “idols” as a musician. It’s pretty clear in this song and Drunken Hearted Man that Lonnie was an influence on his playing, and he did a nice job of paying homage to Lonnie. Hope you like this RJ song!

Workstation

Standard — but each string detuned one half-step, so Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb

I’m a drunken hearted man
My life seems so misery
I’m a drunken hearted man
My life seems so misery
And if I could change my way of livin’
It would mean so much to me

I been dogged and I been driven
Ever since I left my mother’s home
I been dogged and I been driven
Ever since I left my mother’s home
And I can’t see the reason why
That I can’t leave these no-good women’s alone

My father died and left me
My poor mother done the best that she could
My father died and left me
My poor mother done the best she could
Every man like that game you call love
But it don’t mean no man no good

And I’m the drunken hearted man
And sin was the cause of it all
I’m a drunken hearted man
And sin was the cause of it all
And the day that you get weak for no-good women
That’s the day that you bound to fall

Song History

20 June 1937
Dallas, Texas
Vocalion 03665

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https://player.vimeo.com/video/320641093
Description
Lyrics
Other Links
Description

This Lonnie Johnson section is named just that for RJ’s use of Lonnie-like full, lush chords, and moaning single note bends. Even beyond that, much of the guitar structure is very uncharacteristic of RJ– staccato double stops to accompany the 4 chord, and the descending double stops that come just before then.

That’s just from the thought that more typical Robert Johnson sounds like Son House’s and/or Charley Patton’s influence. Like in the section coming up for his Spanish tuning playing, or even just that more classic Texas blues-like monotone bassline blues of the Double Stop family.

Reportedly, RJ wore his “Johnson” last name proudly, since Lonnie was one of his “idols” as a musician. It’s pretty clear in this song and Drunken Hearted Man that Lonnie was an influence on his playing, and he did a nice job of paying homage to Lonnie. Hope you like this RJ song!

Lyrics

I’m a drunken hearted man
My life seems so misery
I’m a drunken hearted man
My life seems so misery
And if I could change my way of livin’
It would mean so much to me

I been dogged and I been driven
Ever since I left my mother’s home
I been dogged and I been driven
Ever since I left my mother’s home
And I can’t see the reason why
That I can’t leave these no-good women’s alone

My father died and left me
My poor mother done the best that she could
My father died and left me
My poor mother done the best she could
Every man like that game you call love
But it don’t mean no man no good

And I’m the drunken hearted man
And sin was the cause of it all
I’m a drunken hearted man
And sin was the cause of it all
And the day that you get weak for no-good women
That’s the day that you bound to fall

Other Links

Original Recording for Malted Milk: Original Recording

Notable Covers:

Other good tutorials:

Song Info

Year of Recording: June 20th, 1937
Location of Recording: 508 Park Avenue, Dallas, Texas
Tuning: Standard Tuning, but down one 1/2 step so Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb
Song Info: This is a great tune, and the start of a short-lived but sweet section– the Lonnie Johnson section, where Robert Johnson, proud of his name coinciding with Lonnie Johnson, showcases his fine adaptation of Lonnie’s expert style and feel.