CD box set: John Lee Hooker, Hooker

(SPV/Blue Label, four CDs)

John Lee Hooker once said that the "best time, ever, for the blues, was in England in the 60s", and the late, great Mississippi bluesman was a major influence on the Animals, the Rolling Stones, Cream and Van Morrison. This glorious 84-track, four-CD set chronicles Hooker's remarkable history, starting out with his solo work back in the late 1940s, and the distinctive stomping blues boogie of his first major hit Boogie Chillen, and then the intimate, pained, almost conversational songs that show his singing was as startling as his guitar work: Tupelo Blues, for instance. His best known songs - Boom Boom, I Cover the Waterfront - are of course included, and the final CD provides a rousing reminder that Hooker's sometimes difficult career ended in commercial triumph, with collaborations with Robert Cray, Van Morrison and Eric Clapton. If you know a blues fan, this is their ideal Christmas present.


Robin Denselow

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

John Etheridge/Liane Carroll: Break Even

Here is some raw blues power with the emphasis on hard-rocking or haunting blues confessions

John Fordham

13, Feb, 2009 @12:01 AM

John Mayer: Battle Studies | CD review

A high cheese quota makes the obviously talented Mayer a hard sell outside his American heartland, says Tom Hughes

Tom Hughes

19, Nov, 2009 @11:20 PM

Article image
John Mayer: 'You can't make music as a famous person'
In the US, guitarist John Mayer is seriously famous – helicopters over his house-type famous. He gives Angus Batey his view from inside the 21st-century celebrity circus

Angus Batey

19, Nov, 2009 @9:50 PM

Little Axe: Bought for a Dollar, Sold for a Dime | CD review
Little Axe switches from a rambling, powerful treatment of an old Son House song Grinnin' in Your Face to a stomping reworking of Hammer Head, writes Robin Denselow

Robin Denselow

03, Jun, 2010 @9:45 PM

Iness Mezel: Beyond the Trance – review
Iness Mezel's French and north African fusion blues makes for an impressive set, if heavily reliant on the inventive production work of Justin Adams, writes Robin Denselow

Robin Denselow

24, Feb, 2011 @10:40 PM

Gwilym Simcock: Blues Vignette | CD review

This UK pianist continues to take ambitious steps, says John Fordham

John Fordham

19, Nov, 2009 @10:17 PM

Article image
CD: Christof Lauer, Blues in Mind


John Fordham

09, Feb, 2007 @12:02 AM

Article image
'He's the happiest bluesman I know'

BB King may be 80 but he is still our greatest living guitarist. Fellow musicians, from Bono to Elton John, remember the gambling, the guitar picks - and the music.

Robin Denselow and John L Walters

17, Mar, 2006 @11:54 PM

Mark McKnight Organ Quartet: Do or Die – review
Much of this album from young Irish guitarist Mark McKnight is stealthy and quiet but it definitely grows on you, writes John Fordham

John Fordham

22, Sep, 2011 @9:06 PM

Little Axe: If You Want Loyalty Buy a Dog – review
A former Grandmaster Flash cohort is going back to the blues with adventurous results, writes Robin Denselow

Robin Denselow

15, Dec, 2011 @9:50 PM