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John Lee Hooker - The Country Blues of John Lee Hooker (LP)

OBC542

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Label: Concord Music Group, Riverside Records – CR00183
Format: LP
Country: US
Released: 
Genre: Blues
Style: Country Blues
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John Lee Hooker (1917-2001) is the most down-home of the major post-war blues figures, “a most authentic singer of the way-back, close-to-the-soil kind of blues,” as Orrin Keepnews commented in this 1959 album’s liner notes. Of Hooker’s innumerable recordings, the Riverside session is perhaps the truest to his Mississippi roots. Unaccompanied and playing acoustic instead of his usual amplified guitar, he turned in a wonderfully varied set of deep Delta blues, moans, boogies, one field holler, and even a bit of hokum. Some are autobiographical, others reworkings of blues standards–all stamped with the hauntingly personal Hooker touch.

This LP stems directly from Hooker’s troubadour-like travels and his interpretations of the people and places he saw on the road. The time-honored tradition of wandering the earth is unique to the blues musician; letting places, faces, stories, varying styles of music all imbue one’s own interpretation of the blues. Hooker’s voice also is considerably deeper than other rhythm and blues artists. The enduring power of the album’s gritty authenticity creates a time capsule of the people Hooker interacted with on his travels. The blues retain their impact through these personal stories.

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