Jack White Influenced By Son House

Jack White drew upon Son House's "Death Letter" as one of his major influences. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.org

Here in this post I want to share a connection I learned about with you. If you’ve ever seen the rock guitar documentary, “It Might Get Loud,” you already know that Jack White listed his favorite song as “Death Letter” by Son House. It inspired me to think about the connection that musicians make to those that came before them. The truly gifted songwriters are those that can write lyrics that are timeless. It seems as though the blues is a good hub for lyrics that meet that criteria since they’re mostly stories that people can relate to; maybe not exactly the same since most early blues songs were written in a very different time, but there are elements we can relate to nonetheless. Primarily the fact that we all go through hard times. I thought it interesting that rock guitar superstar Jack White find an original tune by Son House to be his favorite song. After watching the documentary and hearing some of the things he had to say about this major influence, it made sense. So I shared some original footage of Son House performing his song, Death Letter, then the clip from Jack White where he talks about it. Many of us can fill in songs that have had some major influence on our own playing. Enjoy!

Son House performed his song “Death Letter Blues” in front of the camera for all of us to enjoy. Hear him play the song with his guitar at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXgiEuoQIP4.

Here’s the short clip featuring Jack White talking about his favorite song from Son House. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTlSka5iqPY.

Who or what song can you think of that has inspired you and your playing like Jack White and Son House? Subscribe now to Mike’s Guitar Talk for more insight into the history of music and the guitar.

Thanks and stay tuned for more!


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