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New York Central Live! ()

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Love is the main source of the blues, says Son House in his extended introduction to this live performance made after his 1960s rediscovery, and he's not talking about the love of God, he makes a point of saying. Yet, while it's romantic troubles he has in mind, somehow religion never seems to be far from his thoughts. In "A True Friend Is Hard to Find," this former minister jokes, "I want to be a Baptist preacher/So I wouldn't have to work." On most of this album, House accompanies himself on a sparsely picked slide guitar, creating a minimalist effect. But on "Change Your Mind," he demonstrates his fingerpicking ability, playing in a style more reminiscent of Mississippi John Hurt. The confluence of religious and romantic love may occur to him because he is also so concerned with death, as he makes clear in "Judgement Day." But even when the object of his affection seems to be alive and healthy, things aren't easy. As he notes more than once, it's hard to love someone who doesn't love you. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi Hide synopsis

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