If you’ve never listened to Elmore James rendition of the quintessential Delta Blues song Dust My Broom you need to quickly rectify that.
The guitar cranks out both beautifully and brutally, as if being lovingly played while it and all around it are destroyed.
James wasn’t the first to play this song, nor arguably the grandfather of The Blues Robert Johnson, who is reported to have written the song. It’s an evolution, an amalgamation, of other songs and melodies, and quite possibly a Bible verse. And he wasn’t the last. I once heard an art history professor talk about Zeitgeist, the spirit of the times, and the progression of art. If there hadn’t been Renoir and Monet there still would have been Renoirs and Monets because that was what time and culture created and demanded. I’m not sure I subscribe to a world of inevitability without individual influence, but this song echos out way beyond the early 20th Century.
Search on Spotify or wherever else you find your music and you’ll easily find 12+ covers of the song. Frankly, it’s pretty tough to find a bad one. As if the song transcends it’s artist as well as era. The song makes my eyes open wide and my muscles tense in a fight or flight, and it did that before I even thought to understand the lyrics. Wikipedia cites Ted Gioia’s 2008 Delta Blues who associated the phrase “Dust my broom” to
Matthew 10:14 (NIV)
14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.
If you’ve been looking for a sound track to your thoughts that you need to shake off those who waste your time, the fakers, the haters, the people in your way, this might be it. Do what you know you need to. Don’t stay attached to people or companies that don’t care about you. Shake the dust from your feet and walk away.