The delta blues singer and guitarist Son House died in 1988 at the age of 86. When Son House died, the Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach was eight years old. Like so many of his blues-influenced rocker peers, Auerbach has idolized Son House and his music for years, and now Auerbach is working with Son House’s former manager to release a new album of previously unheard Son House recordings.
In 1964, around the time that collegiate folk audiences were discovering the music that Son House had made decades earlier, obsessive fan Dick Waterman found Son House working at a train station in Rochester, New York. Waterman became Son House’s manager, and he booked him to play at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Waterman held onto the tape of Son House performing at Wabash, and now, as Rolling Stone reports, Auerbach is getting ready to release that performance on his label Easy Eye Sound.
The new LP Forever On My Mind features the eight songs from that performance. Talking to Rolling Stone, Auerbach says, “When I heard those Son House recordings, it was really emotional, honestly. Because I had such a deep connection to the songs, and to hear those old songs in a brand new light, to hear him singing so intimately, in such good form, sober, and the quality of the recording was so immaculate — I was just really overjoyed.” Below, listen to the live recording of “Preachin’ Blues,” a song that Son House first recorded as a 78 RPM single in 1930.
Forever On My Mind is out 3/18 on Easy Eye Sound. Auerbach is planning a whole series of releases pulled from Dick Waterman’s archives.