STYLE: Blues RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 131197-19677 LABEL: Columbia/Legacy 4498912 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Undoubtedly one of the most influential pre-war bluesmen having left his musical mark on legends such as Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters amongst countless others, this release sees the Mississippi-born Son House coaxed out of a three decade commercial recording retirement to record a set of blues numbers over three days in 1965. Despite his trademark blues growl having mellowed over the years, House gives an incredibly warm performance in what is ultimately a captivating snapshot of how the Delta blues originally sounded with the added benefit of vastly improved recording equipment. Despite having rumoured to have seldom picked up a guitar in the preceding eight years, House's slide playing is still strikingly dynamic as he puts his stamp on a new version of his signature song "Death Letter" together with classics such as his close friend Charlie Patton's "Pony Blues" and a truly affecting rendition of "Motherless Children" whilst Canned Heat's Al Wilson joins House on guitar and harp respectively for "Empire State Express" and "Levee Camp Moan". Perhaps the most thrilling cut here is a breathtaking version of "John The Revelator" - most commonly associated with Blind Willie Johnson - which sees House reference his gospel leanings with an unaccompanied vocal performance that marks this release out to be one that any self-respecting blues fan should have in their collection.
The opinions expressed in this article are
not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed
views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may
not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a
Interested in reviewing music? Find out