When it comes to the giants/legends/big figures of Blues, the names usually bandied about are Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Charley Patton and Robert Johnson - and well they should be. But there was this cat, a contemporary of Patton, who preceded Johnson and taught him (as well as Muddy, too), a name sadly much lesser known: Son House. House had a voice, a deep, wailing, vibrato-laden feral thing that sounded bigger than the blue feelings he was exorcizing, bigger than any limitations that could be placed on him. Stylistically, his music is similar to Patton’s, Johnson’s and Blind Lemon Jefferson: bare-bones, acoustic Delta-style blues, where the guitar is not only "accompaniment" but also counterpoint, featuring judicious use of the slide technique - but in House’s case, there was also a definite gospel influence, too. But it’s that voice that’s reason enough to experience this disc, a part of the series of "soundtracks" of the PBS documentary series The Blues, which collects House’s recordings from 1930 through the mid-60s (when he was "rediscovered" by devoted fans of the older blues styles). House was one of the pillars of the blues, but the Depression kept his records from having the impact they could/should’ve had. Thankfully, collections like this can hip us to the Glory That Was - if you liked or know someone who liked the TV miniseries, or have any interest at all in rural, pre-electric blues styles, add this to your Holiday Shopping List.... after all, holidays and the blues go together like mashed potatoes ‘n’ gravy, don’t they?