Son House Rediscovered

Son House is one of the foundational bluesmen.  Born in 1902 (possibly even earlier) and living until 1988, he played with Charlie Patton and Willie Brown, and influenced contemporaries such as Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters.  A slide guitar master and innovator with a powerful singing style, he developed a regional following in the Mississippi Delta, and attracted the attention of the folk historian Alan Lomax who recorded him playing in the back of Klack's Grocery in Lake Cormorant, Mississippi in 1941.  House was accompanied on the recordings by Willie Brown, Fiddlin' Joe Martin and Larry Williams. House became disillusioned by the music business and moved to Rochester, NY to work for the New York Central Railroad in 1943, and had very little to do with music until the mid 60s when he was discovered by three young blues enthusiasts, Nick Perls, Dick Waterman and Phil Spiro.  They made him aware of the blues revival going on at the times and the international interest in his music, and encouraged him to perform again. The record producer John Hammond engaged a young guitar and harp player, Alan Wilson (later of Canned Heat) to help Son House re-learn his songs and guitar style.  House embarked on a new and successful music career, touring in Europe and the United States and recording a number of albums. He retired again in 1974 and moved to Detroit where he lived until his death in 1988.  His powerful influence was felt by performers such as Alan Wilson, Bonnie Raitt and the White Stripes along with many others.

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