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Blues Walkin' Like A Man: A Tribute To Son House

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Blues Walkin' Like A Man: A Tribute To Son House album cover
01
My Black Mama
4:25
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02
Downhearted Blues
4:39
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03
Preachin' Blues
3:28
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04
Jinx Blues
4:25
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05
Dry Spell Blues
3:58
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06
Shetland Pony Blues
3:33
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07
Death Letter
4:25
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08
County Farm Blues
3:31
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09
Grinnin' In Your Face
2:09
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10
Low Down Dirty Dog Blues
4:33
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11
Depot Blues
3:09
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12
Government Fleet Blues
7:03
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13
I Want To Go Home On The Morning Train
4:01
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 13   Total Length: 53:19

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Wondering Sound

Review 0

John Morthland

Contributor

John Morthland has been writing about music since the days of electronically rechanneled stereo and duophonic sound. His name has darkened the mastheads of Roll...more »

09.26.08
Rory Block, Blues Walkin' Like A Man: A Tribute To Son House
2008 | Label: Stony Plain Records / The Orchard

Block plays and sings acoustic blues with power and authority, to say nothing of rhythmic drive and pop. And she'd better — this is the music of Son House, after all. Not only does she grok the Delta bluesman's singular, complex slide style, but she manages to interpret him — impulsive, throbbing guitar, powerhouse voice and all — rather than ape him. This puts her a step or two ahead of the competition automatically.… read more »

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Son House Lives

nortonnels

Rory has long been one of the preeminent delta blues musicians recording today. It's great to hear her doing more works by artists such as Son House and Robert Johnson. They've always featured prominently in her shows and albums, but an entire album of Son House is quite a treat. Rory grew up with this music at her father's sandal shop in Greenwich Village where lots of the blues and folk musicians of the day would hang out. She learned to play from artists such as Son House and carries on this tradition to this day.

eMusic Features

2

Interview: Rory Block

By John Morthland, Contributor

Rory Block was a precocious teenager when country blues first swept Greenwich Village as part of the folk boom in the late '50s and early '60s. She was smitten then by the earthy, uncompromising sound of Robert Johnson and others, and she still is. Though nowadays she writes some of her own material and strays a bit from the classic sound, country blues remains the basis for everything she does. After releasing a tribute to Johnson… more »

They Say All Music Guide

That Rory Block is an astonishingly capable blues artist has been evident for many years, but with this tribute to the legendary Eddie J. “Son” House Jr., her cache is elevated even further. The shifty and slinky flexible slide work of House, and his preachy, shout chorus style vocalizing is perfectly exemplified on his tunes by Block. What is wondrous is that Block loses nothing of her personal sound and identity, as if she is mystically channeling the acoustic blues icon through some higher powered means. Block’s pure and simple solo persona is electrified through many of House’s classic tunes and some well chosen others, and she does them all proud. Everyone will enjoy and appreciate her spot-on take of “Death Letter,” 12-bar train inspired “Depot Blues” featuring her immaculate slide guitar work, and the inspired devices, phrasings, and fervent singing on the energetic “Preachin’ Blues.” “Grinnin’ in Your Face” is perhaps the most beloved tune of Son House, the tale of two-faced, untrustworthy people she sings with a slight echo or reverb in her voice that is truly haunting. Tales of a bad luck lover on “Jinx Blues” is as deep and personal as authentic blues gets, while the back porch moanin’ “Low Down Dirty Dog Blues” echoes the pre-Howlin’ Wolf style House founded. Listeners need to be advised that Rory Block is not photocopying these songs as much as she is assimilating them with her own voice, but in the pure and unique original voicings Son House invented. The loping “Country Farm Blues” and signature tune “Shetland Pony Blues” show the extreme passion and depth Block feels in this music. There are asides away from the guitar/vocal approach, as overdubbed vocals on “Dry Spell Blues,” the more folksy “I Want to Go Home on the Morning Train,” or an occasional harmonica insert by John Sebastian add a little variety. A most highly recommended recording that easily stands next to her previously recorded tribute to Robert Johnson, Blues Walkin’ Like a Man ranks among Rory Block’s very best efforts in her long, satisfying career, and is a welcome reminder of how a handful artists like Son House truly revolutionized American music. – Michael G. Nastos

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