Son House - The Original Delta Blues

Published Tuesday 6th November 2012
Son House - The Original Delta Blues
Son House - The Original Delta Blues

STYLE: Blues
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 131197-19677
LABEL: Columbia/Legacy 4498912

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.

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