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OK, it’s not a Throwback performance, but the song certainly is: “Key to Highway” was popularized by legendary bluesman Big Bill Broonzy in 1940–41. Broonzy, who died 60 years ago this summer, had an incalculable influence on so many blues and rock performers. This song alone has been covered by the likes of John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Luther Allison, Freddie King, Eric Clapton (in Derek & the Dominos and later in his solo bands), The Band, B.B. King, Led Zeppelin, Derek Trucks, Bob Dylan, and too many others to name.


This version, from 2017, is by the tremendous, highly respected Louisiana slide guitar titan Sonny Landreth. In this solo acoustic performance, you can really appreciate the subtleties of this master’s slide technique. —Blair Jackson