Father of Folk Blues (Out Of Stock) by Son House
This was the first such presentation of a Delta blues musician done by Columbia, which seemed like a pretty hip label at the time, since they had both Bob Dylan and Paul Revere and the Raiders. The man's picture on the front is mesmerizing, in a word; the white shirt, black string tie, and silver steel guitar just adding to the excitement. Perhaps this album picture was the first glimpse many young listeners had of such a style of guitar. It was decades before Dire Straits appropriated the image. Revisionist critical thinking has it that the later recordings by Son House can't match the music created during his '30s sessions for Paramount. Here, of course, we have the music as sports syndrome, an area where the elderly are always going to fail in someone's eyes. So much of music enjoyment, however, is a subjective reaction that so often involves many other factors, among them time and place. The sound of the metal slide quietly hovering over the strings can bring to mind only one thing in the mind of a westerner: an angry rattlesnake. And the way many listeners' jaws dropped upon hearing music such as this for the first time may not be quite as intense as a hiker's facial expression upon encountering such a creature, but it is close enough. There is a second blues legend appearing here as well. Guitarist and harmonica player Al Wilson was a founding member of Canned Heat, and a musician so good at what he did that he became a sterling example of the possibility that young white blues fans could actually learn to play this music really well, with intensity.
-All Music Guide
1. Death Letter
3. Louise McGhee
4. John The Revelator
5. Empire State Express
6. Preachin' Blues
7. Grinning In Your Face
9. Levee Camp Moan
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