Son House

Delta Blues and Spirituals

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Recorded live for an enthusiastic audience at London's 100 Club on June 30 and July 14 of 1970 during House's final European tour, Delta Blues and Spirituals is a great last look at a true blues legend. Though Son House would live another 18 years after this recording, he would only perform for five more, and by most accounts he was only a shadow of his former self relatively shortly after this collection's release. Thus, Delta Blues and Spirituals remains one of the last vibrant documents of one of the most essential fathers of Delta blues at the top of his game. Though it's probably not a great place to start as an introduction, as it only includes eight songs, avid fans will no doubt enjoy House's two lengthy monologues and the excellent 30-page booklet included. The material itself is truly first-rate -- four blues and four spirituals are represented, making fine examples of House's impassioned blues hollering. House is joined by Canned Heat's Alan Wilson on harmonica on "Between Midnight and Day" and "I Want to Go Home on the Morning Train," making this collection some of Wilson's last recorded work, as he would die a month and a half later. Overall, the disc makes for a compelling listen from start to finish, and definitely serves as more than just an impressive historical footnote.

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