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John Lee Hooker – Folk Blues

$47.50 $35.00

Here Hooker is backed by the great Eddie Kirkland on second guitar, his constant sideman during this period. Hooker’s style was notoriously difficult to play behind, and Kirkland, a brilliant guitarist in his own right, was one of the few who had a good enough ear to keep up with all of the off-tempo changes. This album does not feature any of Hooker’s hits, and while that may be a drawback with some lesser artists, when you are dealing with one of the giants of both the blues and, by association, rock & roll, it is actually both refreshing and rewarding to gain exposure to some of his lesser known material.

 

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Description

By the time the folk/blues revival of the 1960s rolled around, and hoards of radio-addicted American and British teenagers had begun seeking out the roots of rock & roll, John Lee Hooker had already had numerous hits and his loud and raw electric Delta blues was blaring from radio sets across the nation. Soon every budding rock band from London to San Francisco was naming him as a primary influence and playing his songs. Thanks to this wide crossover fan base, he toured heavily during this period, spreading his foot stomping boogie all over the USA and Europe.
Folk Blues is a collection of sides from 1954 (with the exception of 1952’s “Rock House Boogie”) when Hooker was still recording in Detroit, primarily for Modern Records (where Hooker landed his first #1 hit, “Boogie Chillen,” in 1948), but also simultaneously moonlighting for numerous other labels under many different pseudonyms in an attempt to pay the rent. In an era of millionaire musicians it is difficult to imagine how a man with so many #1 hits could still be short on cash, but at this time black musicians were often paid next to nothing for their recordings and forced to forfeit their royalties to the record labels.

 

AllMusic Review by Matt Fink

Featuring tracks John Lee Hooker recorded in the ’50s but not released until 1962, Folk Blues is a rather average album in Hooker’s vast catalog, but still a highly enjoyable piece. With Hooker’s rhythmic drone-trance effect being used to perfection, cuts like “Half a Stranger,” “Bad Boy,” and “Down Child” are standout tracks. “Shake, Holler and Run,” which bears more than a passing resemblance to “Shake, Rattle and Roll” and swings like the Big Joe Turner original, is another highlight, as are the feedback-drenched boogies “Baby I’m Gonna Miss You,” “Rock House Boogie,” and the classic “Gonna Boogie.” Even straight-ahead blues numbers like “Let’s Talk It Over” are included. Overall, a very listenable collection.

 

1. Baby I’m Gonna Miss You
2. Half A Stranger
3. Shake Holler And Run
4. Down Child
5. Gonna Boogie
1. Bad Boy
2. Rock House Boogie
3. Let’s Talk It Over
4. Baby You Ain’t No Good
5. Lookin’ For A Woman

 

Additional information

Weight 0.480 kg
Dimensions 32.0 × 32.0 × 2.0 cm