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Big Road Blues Discussion Forums 2002-08-10T23:44:19+00:00 2002-08-10T23:44:19+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Charlie Patton vs. Son House]]>
I tend to think that Charlie Patton would have put on a great show, I also think that white audiences have tended to demand certain ways of behaving , like sit down performances from (black) performers.

What we may be doing here is seperating off the "tent show " aspect of Papa Charlie from his music,to him they would have been the same part of his performance.

And I don't hear him throwing his guitar about on his records.......

Anyway aren't we lucky to have them both !


Statistics: Posted by houndog — Sat Aug 10, 2002 11:44 pm

2002-08-10T09:21:27+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Charlie Patton vs. Son House]]>
I'll have to see if I can find where I read that part about Son being asked to play up the Devil's music versus his belief in God for the crowd a little, but I hope I didn't infer that he was acting throughout the length of the film. Your comment about how Son went nuts playing after quietly mumbling is exactly true. After reading the tidbit where someone said he was "helped" along with what to say, I went back and watched the video and the inference was solidified by seeing his uncomfortable nature when speaking, and a complete reversal in approach when he reared back and opened his soul. And whether it was "Preachin' Blues" or "Grinnin' In Your Face," he was on his turf then and not talking to try and let people see what he had battled with. His association to both sides should have been clearly evident to anyone within earshot of his voice, even if they couldn't see him.

Furry Lewis' "Shake 'Em On Down" is essential and he was another who continued to play throughout the years. Remember him in the film "W.W. & The Dixie Dance Kings" with Burt Reynolds?

And I'll be aboard for Sunday night, no doubts. Had a great time last week!


Statistics: Posted by blueswriter — Sat Aug 10, 2002 9:21 am

2002-08-10T04:07:18+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Charlie Patton vs. Son House]]>
Furry Lewis is another person who was rediscovered (having worked, I believe, as a streetsweeper for years) but it turned out he hadn't put the guitar down and his Fantasy label album Shake 'Em On Down (?) is essential blues stuff.

Having said that, I think Son House's situation is summed up in several issues: (1) He really hadn't played guitar in years and years, (2) He was the archetype of blues players who had a true battle in their soul -- their soul being the deepest crossroads there is -- and the cultural/social stigma of playing blues vs. religion is something we can't appreciate from this distance culturally. It must have been a hell of a war, so to speak. I invite anyone to watch Searching For Robert Johnson when one of his former girlfriends starts on a run about how ANYbody who plays the blues has sold their soul to the Devil hisself. Hammond admits he plays blues and she basically says, "Well, ain't you sold your soul to the Devil?" as in it's an undisputed fact.

Finally, I think the most chilling moment in blues recorded history (video now) is the way Son House goes nuts when he plays, a stark contrast to the rambling, quiet mumblings that went before. I don't think it was scripted in that sense -- it was a real window into the power, depth, and conflict of the blues.

Besides, as one additional thought here, I think Son House's "sloppy" guitar work and performance is deeper and more powerful than a half dozen blues players I could mention who are technically astonishing but are hollow inside.


back to add this p.s.:

See you in the chatroom, Blueswriter -- and anyone else interested -- Sunday night at 9pm CST!


Statistics: Posted by drmojo — Sat Aug 10, 2002 4:07 am

2002-08-10T03:19:29+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Charlie Patton vs. Son House]]>

Statistics: Posted by blueswriter — Sat Aug 10, 2002 3:19 am

2002-08-10T02:57:39+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Charlie Patton vs. Son House]]>
"Make it lonesome now 'cause I'm a hobo myself sometimes"

Statistics: Posted by laughing boy — Sat Aug 10, 2002 2:57 am

2002-08-09T01:41:06+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Charlie Patton vs. Son House]]>
Hmmm... I'd wonder if elderly age might have had something to do with that "messed up" state you think Son House was in. Also, it's been documented that he wasn't particularly in his realm playing before television cameras. He was seemingly in another world (which he was, it's been called culture shock). As for Son stumbling over guitar parts, maybe you're referring to his 1960's material when he was actually re-learning what he'd done years before. He hadn't played guitar in many a year when he was found in Rochester, NY, and didn't even own a guitar at the time, if memory serves me correctly. Alan Wilson (of Canned Heat fame) was the one who was basically responsible for helping Son get back into playing shape. And as to him going downhill in 1941, and the videos you've seen him in, those are from the 1960's, as I'm sure you're aware.

Patton was great, there's no question about that, and he was certainly at the forefront of blues recording, though not the first. But saying he was the absolute best, hands-down winner is like saying Little Walter or Muddy weren't really that great because they copied from the band format that John Lee Williamson and others had used before them. Patton also recycled chord progressions and songs, as did Lightnin' Hopkins, Muddy, Sonny Boy, Wolf, and ANY other blues artist... either their own or someone else's, except for those who might have had one shot in a recording studio. And Patton, shortly before his death, was still strong, but certainly not as good as what he'd done before he began a downward spiral. Same for Little Walter, Muddy, Wolf, Hooker, Hopkins, B.B. King... compare any of their later recordings to what they'd done a decade or few before. Then let us know if you think any of their later material holds a candle to their groundbreaking work from the 1940's or '50's.

It's all subjective as to who a favorite is of someone. Because of that, I won't say who was better...

Son House.


Statistics: Posted by blueswriter — Fri Aug 09, 2002 1:41 am

2002-08-09T00:28:53+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Charlie Patton vs. Son House]]>
"I can see Bertha Lee, lord but she can't see me..."

Statistics: Posted by laughing boy — Fri Aug 09, 2002 12:28 am

2002-08-08T06:52:18+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Charlie Patton vs. Son House]]>
What's best - apples or oranges? mangos or bananas? Bing Crosby or Sinatra? Peter Green or Laurie Taylor? My cricket bat or your football....

In other words, it's only valid as a "who-do-you-like-best..." question.

(Except of course, Son House was worth at least ten Pattons).

ps: for pity's sake, there's another one going on next door about HW and MW!!


Statistics: Posted by badfinger — Thu Aug 08, 2002 6:52 am

2002-08-08T04:28:18+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Charlie Patton vs. Son House]]> >the most insane piece of work ever. Nothing beats my Black
>Mama or Dryspell Blues or Walking Blues."

LB, how the Hell can you know so much at sixteen?
I'm three times that old and am miles behind you. Good on yer son .

"with blues, each new discovery is another piece in the jig-saw puzzle"

Statistics: Posted by hashtaff — Thu Aug 08, 2002 4:28 am

2002-08-08T03:24:00+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Charlie Patton vs. Son House]]>
"Make it lonesome now 'cause I'm a hobo myself sometimes"

Statistics: Posted by laughing boy — Thu Aug 08, 2002 3:24 am