For decades little was known about bluesman Robert Johnson. Legend was rife with supernatural accounts of his life and his pact with the devil, and conflicting versions of his death. Drawing upon the research of blues scholars Mack McCormack and Gayle Dean Wardiow, this film uncovers the truth about this man whose life was shrouded in mystery. Documentary footage, interviews, and music tell the story of Johnson who, according to folklore, sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads. Fellow bluesmen Johnny Shines, David 'Honeyboy' Edwards and Eric Clapton give interviews, as does Johnson's girlfriend Willie Mae Powell - the inspiration behind 'Love in Vain' Narrator John Hammond Jr. heads up the search for the truth behind the elusive spirit - crisscrossing the Delta, speaking to the man claiming to be Johnson's long-lost son, visiting the sites of Johnson's only two recording sessions, and finally investigating the circumstances of Johnson's grisly murder in 1938.