Lez' Sell a Soul to the Devil. (A Faustian Tale).

Legend has it that ‘round 1930 or so, Robert Johnson was traveling up through Mississippi, whistling the “Traveling Riverside Blues” and he came upon The Crossroads, where the devil and his hairless dog were sitting on a bench, waitin’ on him.  The dog started a-howlin’ with such a soulful sound – the sound of the Delta Blues – that Johnson was awestruck and said, “I want some of that!”  The devil then snickered in his appropriately carnal baritone,

“You want to play that guitar like nobody ever played it before? Make a sound nobody ever heard before? You want to be the King of the Delta Blues and have all the whiskey and women you want?”

Robert Johnson took but a moment to think about it and then did what any respectable, half-sane musician would do – he signed on the dotted line!  The deal?  Johnson gets the genius mentioned above -- and said perks that go along with it -- in return for his soul, which the devil will snatch at some unpredictable point in time.  (Hopefully not in the middle of a guitar solo).


The girls of Lez Zeppelin are lounging around the tornado-strewn grounds of the Isle of Capri Casino in Lula, Mississippi, where they are shacked up waiting for a gig that night headlining the Wild Hog Music Festival, when it comes to their attention that they are only about 30 miles from The Crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi.  An evil glint comes into Steph’s eye (it would get even more evil later) and a chauffeur is summoned by the name of Leon, who gathers the girls and drives them directly to the junction of US 61 and US 49.

Hysterical with fear and excitement, the band begins an incantation to summon the Devil in order to get the deal done in time for load-in and soundcheck.  Screams are heard, guitars and picks are flung and in the maelstrom of bargaining (the Devil’s rates are not good…), the harrowing contract is finally sealed.

Invigorated, the girls climb back into the “limo” and head over to Rosedale, where it is rumored that there is yet another "Crossroads," where one can up the ante on the Devil's mojo, when Paynes notices that her sacred fleur-de-lis ring, which was given to her by a Hermit Wizard in Fairbanks, Alaska, is gone.  Left -- or devilishly voodoo-ed away -- at The Crossroads as a bargaining chip!

Spooked, the girls worry a little all the way back to Arkansas, where they play a furious show to a sea of rollicking bikers. When “Travelling Riverside Blues” comes ‘round in the set, the band slides into a deep Delta groove and the audience sways in an ecstatic trance.  It is clear that the deal is already having a wondrous effect!

So, at midnight, Lez summons once again Leon's limo and in a somewhat whiskey-infused fervor (one of the perks that comes with the 'genius' for which they bargained) they head back to The Crossroads to squeeze a little more soul outta the deal.  After a frantic crawling and a-wailin’, Megan spots with her X-ray vision the ring!  Soul saved momentarily!  That is until Paynes whips out a violin bow ravaged by “Dazed and Confused” and plunges it into the ground with a cackle and a hiss.

Smoke rises.  And there the bow remains.  Will it -- like King Arthur's Excaliber -- be forever stuck in the dirt never to be pried free except by the Devil, himself?  Or, shall it sink slowly as the years pass toward the 7th Layer of Purgatory until the last sweet sound of the most perfect Blues is played.  And then, will it summon its owner down, down, down – the ultimate price paid...

Nicely written, Ms. Paynes.

Nicely written, Ms. Paynes. I think you must dabble in writing when you are not playing.


Buy CD

Buy LP

Download on iTunes

Get Some Lez!

Sign up!