Preachin' the Blues: The Life and Times of Son House Daniel Beaumont Hardback; 224 pages ISBN: 0195395573 Oxford University Press 2011 Some of the new millennial writing about blues music, such as Elijah Wald's Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues (Amistad, 2004) and Ted Gioia's Delta Blues (Norton, 2008), devote a great deal of energy addressing how the blues- scholarship approach of the 1950s and 1960s created the romantic genre of the delta blues." Indeed the story of Nick Perls, Dick Waterman, Phil Spiro, Stephene Calt, ...read more
The ‘Sixties folk boom brought a lot of surprises – while new performers grew famous, old figures (bluesmen, etc.) were rediscovered" and returned to the stage. The biggest surprise was Son House, in 1964 – it was actually the third time he’d been rediscovered! First recorded in 1930, House found music a hard life and became a laborer; Alan Lomax found him in Mississippi and recorded five titles. Lomax returned the following year ; this time Son is alone and has some new songs, including a blues for World War II. The sound startles: you can almost see the past, ...read more
These Son House field recordings" were made in 1941 and ‘42 by folklorist Alan Lomax, who toured the country with a crude 300-pound machine documenting all sorts of regional music.In the 1930s, Son House served as the main inspiration to fellow Mississippians Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, arguably the two greatest innovators the blues has known. House hadn’t recorded in 11 years when Lomax him tracked down in Robinsonville, Mississippi. The Depression had forced the slide guitarist and vocalist to work various odd jobs to supplement the meager income he received from playing picnics and country balls. Lomax ...read more
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