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Rob Greaves

Cream of The Crate #5

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From the Cream of the Crate Collection – An album in my collection that is irreplaceable, and simply a classic!

The fifth album I’m featuring is a return to the roots of many styles of music - a return to the Blues, to the roots of the Blues in many ways – the Delta Blues. It would be difficult to find any fan of the Blues who did not recognise Robert Johnson as being a ground breaker - a master of the blues, particularly of the Mississippi Delta blues style.

Yet, even the great Robert Johnson had a teacher, and that was the remarkable Son House. In my crate, “The Real Delta Blues” - 14 songs from the man who taught Robert Johnson, holds a prized place.

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Made by Yazoo and Blue Goose Records founder Nick Perls at his private studio and in folk clubs during the 1960s, although The Real Delta Blues features reinterpretations of material that House originally played at his 1930 session for Paramount and 1941-1942 sessions for the Library of Congress as well as versions of songs that would also appear on other post-rediscovery releases, it manages to capture the essence of the Delta Blues style, and, reflects the essential elements that made Son House, along with contemporary Charlie Patton, so great! The magic of his voice and playing is captured so well on this album.

It is recorded that House was born Eddie James House, Jr., on March 21, 1902, in Riverton, Mississippi, but a number of researchers believe he was actually even older than this recorded birth date suggests. He chopped cotton as a teenager while developing a passion for the Baptist church. By 1926, House began playing guitar under the tutelage of an obscure local musician named James McCoy. He developed quickly as a guitarist; within a year he had fallen in with Delta musician Rube Lacy and began emulating his slide guitar style.

House's career was interrupted when he shot a man dead at a house party in Lyons, MS. and was quickly sentenced to imprisonment at the notorious Parchman Farm. He ended up only serving two years of his sentence and was released in 1929 or early 1930. After hitchhiking and hoboing the rails, he made it down to Lula, MS, about twelve miles north of Clarksdale, where he met Charley Patton for the first time. House's powerful vocals and slashing slide guitar style established him as a giant of the Delta School but did not lead to commercial success.

His influence, however, would be felt through the recordings of Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Elmore James, Robert Nighthawk, and other successful blues artists.

Son House died October 19, 1988.

In all, there are thirty-seven known recordings of Son House, in the form of -

29 albums
3 singles
5 78’s

These span the period 1930 to a posthumous release in 2004.

Tracks on “The Real Delta Blues” (BG-2016) are:

1. Milkcow's Calf Blues
2. I Shall Not Be Moved
3. Rochester Blues
4. Hobo
5. Lake Cormorant Blues
6. Motherless Children Have a Hard Time
7. Mississippi County Farm Blues
8. Pony Blues
9. Trouble Blues
10. This Little Light of Mine
11. A Down the Staff
12. The D.T. Moan
13. Lord Have Mercy When I Come to Die


Son House - Pony Blues




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Although this track is not from "The Real Delta Blues", it is reputed as being one of the finest clips of Son House playing live.



Previous Cream of The Crate Albums


#1 – Howling Wolf: Real Folk Blues
tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/191-The-Cream-of-The-Crate

#2 – Otis Redding: Otis Blue/ Otis Redding Sings Soul
tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/194-The-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-2

#3 – Dr John The Night Tripper: Gris Gris
tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/196-The-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-3

#4 – Spectrum: ROYGBIV
tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/208-The-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-4

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Updated 8th April 2013 at 07:53 PM by Mick Pacholli

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Rob Greaves , The Cream of The Crate

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