Houston Stackhouse never attained the position he rightly deserved among bluesmen, probably because of the sparsity of his recordings (the first of which were made in 1967) and missed opportunities, coupled with the irregularity of his performances. However, on a good night-and there were a great many-"Stack," as he was known to all, was a superb vocalist and a match for the best in his class. Born and raised in lower Mississippi, Houston Stackhouse gained his musical footing in the gentle blues and ragtime guitar styles of the region. Never a hard Delta musician, nor a composer of great note, he gleaned his repertoire from his fellow musician friends and relatives, as well as from a few of his favorite records. The basis of his style was the great pre-war blues of Tommy Johnson (and his brothers) around whom he had grown up, and the equally suave post-war stylings of his cousin, Robert Nighthawk. There was also a smattering of Charlie Patton, Bumble Bee Slim and Robert Johnson, who had been a friend and companion, thrown in for good measure, but all of it was performed with such smooth sophistication that it took on a new life and color in Stackhouse's hands. All told, this compilation is an excellent cross-section of the repertoire and musicianship of a remarkable Mississippi bluesman.
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