The Complete Library of Congress Sessions, 1941-1942
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This classic re-release of an item deleted in 1997 features 19 blues recordings from Mississippi Delta bluesman Son House recorded in 1941-42. He's on guitar & vocals, joined by Willie Brown, Fiddlin' Joe Martin & Leory Williams. A portion of this was recorded at Klack's Store, Lake Cormorant, Mississippi. You'll hear occasional railway noises in the background, as the store, which had the electricity necessary for the recording, was close to a branch-line between the lake & Robinsonville, which is where the remaining titles were recorded.
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All of these songs feature Son in one way or another, but his harpist, mandolin player, and second guitarist, all really liven up the performances.
All of the songs on this are top notch, but the ones that really grabbed me most were:
"Shetland Pony Blues" is wonderful, with a type of "walking guitar" and odd time signature.
There is even the clear sound of a steam locomotive train passing close by Klack's Store, where this was recorded.
"Low Down Dirty Dog Blues" is terrific.
"American Defense" is the track that I liked the most, with a climbing note progression that immediately grabbed me, with some wry humor in the lyrics.
"Am I Right Or Wrong" is vaguely similar to "American Defense," but likewise very good.
The second rendition of "Walking Blues" is beautiful, and Son's accompaniment is in top form.
"Pony Blues" is a slower and easier to understand vocally version of "Shetland Pony," again a great song.
"The Jinx" is wonderful, with sadness of bad luck mixed with an incredible slapped bass string rhythm and Son's trademark high slide ringing.
Simply incredible historical document, and we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Alan Lomax for hauling his 300lb "portable" acetate recorder down to Mississippi so that we can listen to the greatest bluesmen of all time.
Oh, and if you want to hear Son's downright demonic Grafton, Wisconsin recordings, go here: Son House & the Great Delta Blues Singers
Also, the one record of Son that had not been found turned up only back in 2005.
You can find the two songs from it (along with lots of other extreme rarities) here: The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
- Blues ain't nothin'but a lowsown shakin' chill, - If you ain't had them, I hope you never will.
Buy now and capture a moment in time. Shove on the old headphones. You'll be their with them. Outstanding.