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Chris Strickland - Death Letter (Son House Cover)

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Published on Feb 29, 2012

We were so excited to get this in the mail. Everyone here has listened to this version of Death Letter and feel that Chris Strickland is an old soul, and a true blues man. Gave us all goose pimples. Damn boy you can play. Indeed. Amen.

"Death Letter", also known as "Death Letter Blues", is the signature song of the Delta blues musician Son House. It is structured upon House's earlier recording "My Black Mama, Part 2" from 1930. House's 1965 performance was on a metal-bodied National resonator guitar using a copper slide.

One commentator noted that it is "one of the most anguished and emotionally stunning laments in the Delta blues oeuvre."

The song has been reworked by other major bluesmen. Skip James reworked the music and lyrics into his song "Special Rider Blues". Avant-garde blues artist Jandek reworked a verse from "Death Letter" into his song "I Went Outside". Muddy Waters's closely related song about the same subject is "Burying Ground".

"Death Letter" has been recorded by several popular musicians, including The Blues Band, Grateful Dead, John Mellencamp, Chris Thomas King, David Johansen, Tony McPhee, The Derek Trucks Band, The White Stripes and The Tallest Man on Earth. The White Stripes performed part of the song live at the 2004 Grammy Awards. The song has also been given a hardcore punk makeover by Canadian punk rock band Eamon McGrath & The Wild Dogs. It was also featured in the 2005 horror/suspense film The Skeleton Key. The song has also been recorded by Diamanda Galás, Cassandra Wilson, James Blood Ulmer, Preacher Boy, Gov't Mule, and Geoff Muldaur.

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