Son House “Live” At The Gaslight Café, New York, January 3 1965
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Son House “Live” At The Gaslight Café, Jan 3rd 1965
Son House; vocal, guitar.
Genres; Country Blues, Mississippi Delta Blues, Bottleneck-slide guitar.
Informative booklet notes by Ken Romanowski.
Previously unreleased “in concert” recordings of the Mississippi blues marvel Son House, music associate of Charley Patton. The man who inspired musicians from Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters and to Johnny Winters and Mike Bloomfield and many others. He is known as the father of the Mississippi Delta Blues.
Film footage of Son Houses rediscovery performances of the mid 1960s reveals a soft-spoken, somewhat shy old gentleman transmogrified into a shaman exorcising blue demons from the depths of his divided soul, eyes tightly shut, right hand flailing his National steel guitar, his right driving the bottleneck up and down the full length of the guitar’s neck, his magnificent voice strangling the syllables of his verses. For those of us who were never privileged to witness one of those live performances, the films and recordings are as close as we will ever get. Which brings us to the music contained on this CD. These types of recordings often surface unexpectedly, with little verifiable information other than the name of the artist in question. It is not difficult to conjure up the setting for this performance – a Sunday night in New York, snow on the ground from the previous day (January 2), Son House in his Stetson Hat, white shirt and red tie, facing the expectant patrons seated in a horseshoe arrangement of small tables, some of the audience wondering if this apparently frail old man will be able to make it through the set before he expires before their eyes, and then … Son House rears back his head and charges into Pony Blues totally oblivious to his immediate surroundings and through sheer emotional intensity transports himself and his listeners back in time to a juke-joint in the Mississippi Delta. Of all the country blues players to have recorded Son Houses performances must surly be among the most intense. While being interviewed at the same Newport blues festival as Son House and being asked about being a blues / rock artist Mike Bloomfield told the interviewer to go and talk to Son House exclaiming that he was the blues!