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Father Of The Delta Blues: The Complete 1965 Sessions
Son House
Father Of The Delta Blues: The Complete 1965 Sessions
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #2

According to legend, it was Son House's blistering bottleneck guitar that prompted Robert Johnson to pick up a six string. House's potent early recordings from 1930 and 1941 to 1942 showcased his raw, emotionally powerful ...  more »


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All Artists: Son House
Title: Father Of The Delta Blues: The Complete 1965 Sessions
Members Wishing: 7
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Original Release Date: 1/1/1965
Re-Release Date: 6/30/1992
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B
Styles: Delta Blues, Traditional Blues, Acoustic Blues, Slide Guitar, Soul
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 074644886726, 0074644886726, 074644886740, 074644886726

According to legend, it was Son House's blistering bottleneck guitar that prompted Robert Johnson to pick up a six string. House's potent early recordings from 1930 and 1941 to 1942 showcased his raw, emotionally powerful style, but never received the acclaim of Johnson's. When he was rediscovered during the '60s blues revivalist movement, House's voice still possessed wall-shaking intensity and his idiosyncratic slide guitar still had bite. These 21 recordings (including five alternate takes) offer superior fidelity and significant room for House to stretch out. The first disc features his classic "Preachin' Blues," a stirring a capella "Grinning in Your Face," and a nine-minute "Levee Camp Moan," with Canned Heat's Al Wilson on harp. Disc two (outtakes and alternates) includes an odd homage to President Kennedy and a riveting version of the spiritual "Motherless Children." --Marc Greilsamer

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CD Reviews

Desert Island CD of the first rank!
Campbell Roark | from under the floorboards and through the woods.. | 02/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Blues- either you get it or you don't. If you're one of the ones who does and you don't have this, then you need to stop whatever you're doing and get this. NOW. It's just that damn good. It's just that damn great! This is one of the CDs that gets me through the high times, the low times and all time in-between.

For me it ultimately comes down to two guys: Skip James and Son House. The two embody the differing poles of early blues aesthetic: James' eerie falsetto keen, odd/moribund lyrics (I'd rather be the Devil) minor key-tuned guitar and intricate finger work, under-stated and introspective; then you got House's deep and (utterly masculine) hollerin' vocals, his combative slide work on his National Steel resonator, his frenetic performances- visceral.

Both men had a deeply spiritual bent.

Now then, there are purists and then there are PURISTS. Some reviewers may say that the later Son House (these studio recordings) is lacking the ferocity and skill and power/delivery of his earlier self (the Lomax Library of Congress recordings and the Paramount recordings from the 30's). They may be right but I don't think so. I'm not knocking his earlier recordings- I swear by everything the man did. It's a tradeoff, basically- sound quality vs. intensity is one way of putting it, though, again I disagree: I think the man was just as gigantic on these two CDs as he was back in the day... And you can tell that his soul, his voice, his anima, had been tempered by the passing years. His intensity seems focused and buttressed to me, not worn out. He sounds like the most alive man I have ever heard.

These two CDs beyond are great, though I like the first better. The classic, "Preachin Blues," puts fire in your guts. "Death Letter," (maybe the best blues tune ever crafted) is jilting and hair-raising. Both takes. The same for "Levee camp Moan." The a capella versions of "John the Revelator" are marvelous. "Louise McGhee" is sublime.

Now- On some of the later alternate takes, House loses a bit of luster... The man coughs a little towards the end, but so what. Alan Wilson's harp never gets in the way, and works well. The Charley Patton cover is a fine time.

I've blathered about enough. I hope I've persuaded you a little- read on. My two cents: All of this is essential. ALL. You just don't hear stuff this good. It will have you humming along, singing at work, tapping your foot. It will make you want to learn to play the blues (and there's hope for you! Incidentally, House didn't learn guitar 'til he was 24- picked it up in a matter of weeks, so they say).

Pick this up.
The Father of the Delta Blues
R. Cousineau | New York USA | 08/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I`ve written reviews for releases by Charley Patton and Robert Johnson,the importance of those recordings are well understood and that leads us to Edward"Son"House.Although others made their mark no one had more influence over the blues scene in the 30`s than this man.A combination of preacher and bluesman,Son was always in conflict because of his secular upbringing and the freedom and experiences that being a traveling blues singer could and did offer.
Although he only recorded a few sides in the early 30`s and then again in the early 40`s,that was it.Soon after he moved up north taking a job as a porter on the railways of the northeast.Fast forward to the early 60`s when he was tracked down and asked to perform,which he did,basically re-learning the guitar and then landing gigs at coffee houses and colleges then later festivals around the U.S. and Europe.In 1965 when he recorded these tracks he was at the height of his powers....with a hard often violent playing style and powerful voice he brought the delta blues style he helped create into the present with powerful performances of such classics as Death Letter,Grinnin in Your Face,Preachin Blues,Pony Blues and the list goes on.
With sound quality as an excuse for not wanting to listen to recordings of 78`s from 60 or 70 years ago,these discs are of the highest fidelity so the choice is yours.
Essential and worth every penny,you should make this part of your collection....the blues has never sounded better than this."
Father of the Delta Blues
C. C. Eisenhart | God's Country | 10/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I take exception to some of the reviewers and Son. I knew him, and in fact, recorded him in my dorm room in the fall of 1969 in Rochester, NY.
Unless you are a real student of the blues, you wouldn't know that Muddy Waters considered him the greatest, and Howlin' Wolf looked up to him like a father. In addition, it was Son House who taught Robert Johnson the slide or bottleneck guitar. While the recording may not be the best, I can tell you when I recorded him the windows in my dorm room rattled from the resonance of his voice and intense passion as he played his National guitar. He was a master...just caught up between that preacher bit and his love for a little taste."