Eddie James House, Jr. was born March 21, 1902, on a Mississippi farm just outside of Clarksdale, a region that is ground zero to Delta Blues scholars, and where that music continues to thrive. Scant information regarding his early years exists about becoming a Baptist preacher around 1917, and taking up the guitar ten years later or serving time at Mississippi's notorious Parchman Farm. Son sought musical inspiration from guitarist Willie Brown, with whom he performed extensively throughout Mississippi. Son House soon became an influence on the likes of McKinley Morganfield (better known as Muddy Waters), and a teenager named Robert Johnson. The recordings on this compact disc have been painstakingly restored from the original 1941-42 Library of Congress Field Recordings. In the '30s and '40s, Alan Lomax traveled throughout the South with a disc-cutting machine, capturing an eclectic treasure of extraordinary music. At Clark's County store, Son House and his old partner Willie Brown recorded the first five selections heard on this CD. The following summer, Alan Lomax returned to Mississippi and in collaboration with Fisk University, Nashville again recorded Son House, yielding among other selections the nine tracks that complete this set.
"The attention now being accorded bluesman Robert Johnson is overdue, but much of the praise implies that his music came from a Faustian pact or was plucked from thin air. Yet Johnson's blues, like all music, has roots. Eddie James "Son" House Jr. was Johnson's favorite guitarist and greatest influence. " - Rolling Stone, Four Star Review (Out of Four), Allan Wood