Special Rider Blues: 1940-42 Mississippi Recording
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This essential LP release opens with an early recording of Son House’s signature song, the soulful “Death Letter Blues” – a lament by a man who received a letter one morning telling him of the death of the woman he loved. Although it may be an old story from the blues idiom, this particular song offers richness and complexity in its combination of traditional stanzas and musical setting andthus serves as an outstanding example of the workings of time andnarrative in the blues. Based on the 1930 tune “My Black Mama,” “Death Letter Blues” became a highlight of House’s live shows in the mid- and late Sixties where it went on for as long as 15 minutes.
These sensational recordings are a treasure of incalculable value, which would form the basis of Son House’s legend and secure his reputation as one of the greatest blues figures of that classic era. It is truly an indispensable set for any folk-blues devotee.
SIDE A (A1): solo recording by Son House (vocals and guitar).
Recorded in Mississippi, early 1940s.
SIDE A (A2 to A7) / SIDE B (B1 & B2): solo recordings by Son House (vocals and guitar).
Recordedin Robbinsonville, Mississippi, July 17, 1942.
SIDE B (B3 to B7): Son House (vocals on all titles, guitar)
with Willie Brown (vocals on SIDE B B5-B7, guitar B3, B4 & B6),
Fiddlin’ Joe Martin (vocals on SIDE B, B6 & B7, mandolin on B3-B5 & B7),
Leroy Williams (harmonica on B3-B5).
Lake Cormorant, Mississippi, August 24-31, 1941.
1 DEATH LETTER BLUES
2 SPECIAL RIDER BLUES
3 LOW DOWN, DIRTY DOG BLUES
4 THE JINX BLUES – part 1
5 THE JINX BLUES – part 2
6 THE PONY BLUES
7 WALKING BLUES – 1942 version
1 COUNTY FARM BLUES
2 AMERICAN DEFENSE
3 GOVERNMENT FLEET BLUES
4 DELTA BLUES
5 LEVEE CAMP BLUES
6 CAMP HOLLERS
7 FOUR O’CLOCK BLUES