SON HOUSE - FATHER OF FOLK BLUES - 180g VINYL - ANALOGUE PRODUCTIONS
Mississippi’s Son House was already legendary for a small collection of live field recordings made by folklorist Alan Lomax in 1941 and 1942, and for having taught some important licks to both Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters before he was rediscovered by a new generation of college-age fans in 1964.
The “Father of the Delta Blues” recorded this namesake LP for Columbia Records a year later in 1965. It’s become, in the words of Living Blues magazine — “Essential recordings by one of the greatest bluesmen ever.” And now, Analogue Productions presents a reissue unmatched in sonic quality and luxury presentation. For our version we turned to Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound to remaster the recording from the original master tapes. The freshly cut lacquers — for this version we’ve cut the album at 45 RPM for truer cartridge tracking and decreased distortion on the inner groove — were then plated and pressed on 200-gram vinyl by our own Quality Record Pressings.
Son was born Eddie James House, Jr., on March 21, 1902, in Riverton, Miss. By the age of 15, he was preaching the gospel in various Baptist churches as the family seemingly wandered from one plantation to the next. He didn’t even bother picking up a guitar until he turned 25; to quote House, “I didn’t like no guitar when I first heard it; oh gee, I couldn’t stand a guy playin’ a guitar. I didn’t like none of it.” But if his ambivalence to the instrument was obvious, even more obvious was the simple fact that Son hated plantation labor even more and had developed a taste for corn whiskey. After drunkenly launching into a blues at a house frolic in Lyon, Miss., one night and picking up some coin for doing it, the die seemed to be cast; Son House may have been a preacher, but he was part of the blues world now.
Now, sit back and enjoy one of the genere’s greatest, on a reissue that’s the best that’s been made to date. So authentic, so real – that’s the Analogue Productions difference.
“Muddy Waters’ Folk Singer wasn’t the only blues LP recorded with the due care rarely shown to albums in the genre, prior to the revival. Son House’s rediscovery in the early 1960s reads like a Hollywood script, but all of the elements are there to make you realize that this John Hammond-produced LP, 50 years on, was one of the most important. Just House and his bottleneck acoustic guitar: his sheer presence must has been terrifying to those unfamiliar with the intensity of rural, unamplified blues. Every track is astounding, but skip straight to the voice-only ‘John The Revelator’ for an instant taste of House’s abilities to captivate. And he lived long enough, too, to savor his renaissance.”
1. Death Letter
1. Louise McGhee
2. John The Revelator
3. Empire State Express