First, Son House:
I saw Kristian Matsson, better known as "Tallest Man on Earth," at the Triple Door on Monday. He's short -- maybe 5-foot-8. (I'll get to Son House in a minute.) He played an electric acoustic guitar (as opposed to the acoustic guitar on the Shallow Grave LP), which was jarring at first but was appropriate for the rather spacious venue. It was an outstanding set -- we heard nearly everything from the LP plus a few new tunes, including King of Spain (taken here from a Jan. '09 show):
(For the record, the crowd at the Triple Door approved of the explicit reference to Dylan. And he really can't stand still when he's up on stage.)
He closed his encore with Death Letter Blues, played hard and fierce and, I thought, just a little ballsy for a guy who is making his way as a songwriter. It very nearly outshined his own material, which, of course, is the danger. Then he signed autographs and spoke with concert-goers by the merch table for at least a half hour after the show ended. We asked him to sign a poster and a vinyl copy of the record and talked for a little while about his tour. To everyone he spoke with he seemed gracious and humble and unassuming and really I'm just saying he's the best. Heart.
(He's playing in Chicago on April 5 at some place called Schubas, Aarons and Obles.)