Heroes Of The Blues- The Very Best Of Son House
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This release in the Heroes of the Blues series is the only true cross-licensed best-of package for Son House A complete career retrospective, covering all periods of his career and various record labels Transcribed directly from Paramount 78's and completely restored and re-mastered Original cover art by R. Crumb
About the Artist
Son House's place, not only in the history of Delta blues, but in the overall history of the music, is a very high one indeed. He was a major innovator of the Delta style, along with his playing partners Charley Patton and Willie Brown. Few listening experiences in the blues are as intense as hearing one of Son House's original 1930s recordings for the Paramount label. Decades later listeners are still awestruck by the emotional fervor House put into his singing and slide playing. Little wonder then, that the man became more than just an influence on some White English kid with a big amp; he was the main source of inspiration to both Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, and it doesn't get much more pivotal than that.
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And why was House on that stage with Hurt and James? Well, the short answer is that old flailing National steel guitar. However, the real answer is that like Hurt he represented a piece of American music that was fast fading away, at least in its original form -the country blues. Can anyone beat the poignancy of Death Letter Blues or bitterness of Levee Moan? Or when House gets preachy on John the Revelator and other old time religious songs of shout and response. The tension between being a preacher man and doing the `devil's work (playing the blues) is more clearly felt in House's work than in Hurt's.
House's repertoire is not as extensive as Hurt's and there is a little sameness of some of the lyrics but when he is hot watch out. There is another famous film clip of him alone flailing away at the guitar almost trance-like, sweating buckets doing Death Letter sitting down in a chair on stage under the hot lights. That is the scene you want to evoke when you listen to these selections. And do listen.
Rediscovered in Rochester, New York, relearning to play the guitar, (how this country abuses the masters that come from its people, particularly its Black people), put back on the stage by the folk revival's blues section, House made recordings that reproduced his old masterpies, with a wrier sense of meaning than before.
People outside of the blues life focus on the guitar playing or the rhythm of the singing, but where the power comes from is the feeling and the words that are put together, the life and the meaning of the blues. Son House in his youth and his old age, on this and his other sides, always gave it.
So Like Muddy Waters, I would like you to know that
Son House is the real deal.
Listen and learn