In Search of Captain Beefheart – A Rock Music memoir – Continued – Son House


I had discovered him.

I had found what I did not know I had been looking for. Son House had entered my life.

It is one thing to discover something but quite another to find out everything about an artist and gain a picture of their entire work and history. That is something I have been pursuing to this day. It is only with the advent of CDs that much of the material has come to light and is available. Back in 1967 there was only one album that had been released containing ‘Death Letter Blues’ – ‘Son House – Father of the Delta Blues’. I discovered it in a rack of blues albums in a small record shop in Kingston Upon Thames and listened to it in a tiny listening booth and it was every bit as strident and powerful as I remembered. I snapped it up.

Now I have 26 CDs of Son house material – including his early ‘field’ recordings and a number of live concerts.

Son House was playing at the time of Charlie Patton and those other early itinerant Mississippi blues musicians. He is fabled to have taught Robert Johnson to play. As such you could say that he was the focal point for all that was to follow! Rock music might not have existed without him.

You could say that my quest had led me all the way back to the beginning.

The beginning is a good place to start. Once you have the beginning you’ve got a cornerstone to build the rest of the story on. I consider myself fortunate to have seen the man who started it all. He was as awesome as his reputation.

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