Son House – Dry Spell Blues Part 1 (1930) – YouTube

I don’t know why this video features an image of Charlie Patton, but there you go. The person who uploaded this video says he was first introduced to Son House’s music through a Charlie Patton compilation, but it’s still a funny choice of image.

The guitar playing on this tune is incredibly complex and polyrhythmic while maintaining a very simple aesthetic. On top of that is House’s incredibly powerful voice – it’s one of those voices like Howlin’ Wolf’s that probably overwhelmed audiences, demanding their attention.

In any event, I was thinking about this tune after my last post where I quoted some of its lyrics. “Dry Spell Blues” is an absolute classic of the delta blues style, definitely unique in its overall aesthetic and its description of the economic effects of drought and boll weevil infestation. This is one of my all time favorites.

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pulamusic

I am a musician and academic living in Western, Massachusetts. I blog mostly about music, though I include the odd post about political or historical events that pique my interest.

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