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Music: Dylan and more, Rolling Stones, Hooker and the Hogs,

Born near Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1917 to a sharecropper family, John Lee Hooker was one of the last links to the blues of the deep South. He move to Detroit in the early 1940's and by 1948 had scored his first number-one jukebox hit and million-seller, "Boogie Chillun." Other hits soon followed, "I'm In The Mood," "Crawling Kingsnake," and "Boom Boom" among the biggest. During the 1950s and '60s, Vee Jay Records released a remarkable string of more than 100 of John Lee's songs. This collection is my choice of some of the best output from the JLH and what were at one point his backing band who went on to carve out a place of their own in British blues history; the Groundhogs

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Chickenshack Album reviews by Franktastic
There are 555 listings for John Lee Hooker on the amazon catalogue,
so as a life long fan Ithought I would offer my top selections.

Hooker teams up with Canned Heat in their heyday. He considered the Heat boys as good as any band he plauyed with in the business. this is cooking! Hooker's carer spanned an incredible period, but also licensing and copy right infringements mean much of his suff has been reissued in a bewildering assortment. This grammy winning classic launched his latter day career and brought him to a whole new audience. With Santana, Los Lobos Bonnie Rait - Brilliant!
Hooker at Chess studies in the 50's this is his classic period, where he really made his name in the blues world as a hardworking bandsman, innovator and composer Mr Lucky, Hooker's second release in his latterday career, with some great collaborations, another great album
In Hooker's Mid 60's tour of UK, and he loved playing Britian, his pickup band was a young Tony Macphee and the Groundhogs - later stulwarts of the UK blues scene With the coast to coast blues band, this live set is the basis of what became the lie show he toured the world with in his later years. There are some great blues on here and some fun but slightly lightweight boogie.
This early 60's offering (1962 I think) was a low key effort, but actually one of my personal favourites, he sings and swings in that great soulful voice - oh great stuff! Serve's you right to suffer, it serves you right to be alone. This is John Lee in the studio singing from the heart
This book is more than the story of one of the 20th century's most enduring and prolific artists - JLH's life covers the whole period of black conciousness in the US, from illiterate Share cropper to superstar. This is a huge life, well told This is the first Groundhogs effort, been impossible to get hold of for years, a collectors special - but now with the digital revolution its available again - maybe not their best but for any blues historian this was an important album
JLH, aways was my favourite of the blues greats, he was constantly inventive, endlessly soulful and he really knew how rock the house when required. This is the album that relaunched the 70 something Hooker on the global market. Groundhog, Cherry red, Split part 2; this is the stuff that etched the Groundhogs in British blues and rock history for ever. You have gotta hear this!


steve@chickenshack.co.uk