Monday, December 26, 2011

You Might Find Out Later that the Road'll End in Detroit

Got a lot from Daniel Beaumont's Preachin' the Blues: The Life and Times of Son House (Oxford University Press, 2011), having now finished it: his having killed two men -- more or less in self-defense (not one, as usually thought); his marriages to Carrie Martin and Evie Goff, the latter with him when he died in Detroit; and various special women friends like China Lou (who happened to be Charley Patton's daughter), Sara Knights, Louise Johnson, Louise McGee and Daisy Mae Ketchum. Most interesting, perhaps, is Beaumont's take on Son House's religion and spirit. The man was a preacher through and through, who gave up public religion for the blues rather than the other way around as was more often the case with other blues artists. 

Beaumont reveals details on Son House's time based in Rochester, New York, from 1943 to 1976, and on his time working at the Cutchogue Labor Camp on Long Island in 1955, when he stabbed an intruder in the heart with a kitchen knife. The author also ran down various people who sought out the again bluesman after his relaunch in 1964.     

As for the music and intense performances, we'll save that for another time. 

Today's Rune: Joy.  


Charles Gramlich said...

I'm only vaguely familiar with him, I'm afraid. Sad to say.

Adorably Dead said...

He sure did have an interesting life.