John Lee Hooker developed a “talking blues” style that became his trademark. Though similar to the early Delta tradition, his metrically free approach and unique sound would make him a staple of Detroit blues. Often called the “King of the Boogie,” Hooker's driving, rhythmic approach to guitar playing has become an integral part of the blues. This quintessential release includes two albums from the beginning of his career: Sings the Blues (Crown 1961) and Sings Blues (King 1960). Although the two records share nearly identical titles, each contains a different and excellent track list. The former LP features great electric numbers such as “Hug and Squeeze (You),” “Good Rockin' Mama,” and “The Syndicate,” while the latter contains Hooker's solo recordings originally issued on the Modern label. Both albums have been remastered and packaged together in this very special collector's edition, which also includes 5 bonus tracks from the same period.
When John Lee Hooker met with The Groundhogs it was blues magic. When he traveled to England, he enjoyed playing live with the Hogs as his back up band. Originally, the father of the British blues John Mayall had the job sewn up, until Eric Clapton quit his band and then plans changed. Much to the delight of guitarist Tony McPhee, the Hogs were in.
This quintessential release presents one of Hooker's most difficult to find albums: Burning Hell. Recorded in Detroit in April 1959, the Riverside label only originally issued the LP in England. A country-blues classic, John Lee Hooker only plays acoustic guitar throughout the album, and sings straight to the bone with his soul drenched vocal delivery. Highlights include songs associated with Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Big Bill Broonzy, as well as a number of Hooker's own finest compositions. In addition to the original masterpiece, this remastered CD also contains 8 bonus tracks, including a number of solo recordings taped in different locations between 1952 and 1961.
Final recordings: Face to Face combines previously released material from John Lee Hooker with unfinished tracks he was working on before he died. Compiled by the estate of Hooker, with his daughter Zakiya at the helm, the unreleased material leans heavily toward soul-blues united with Hooker's patented electric Delta boogie. "Loving People," "Funky Mabel," "Six Page Letter" (a ballad with synth strings), and "Rock These Blues Away" are highlights. Zakiya Hooker takes the spotlight on "Mean Mean World," singing lead alongside her father, and the acoustic "Wednesday Evening Blues" features George Thorogood on guitar…