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.
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…
Two classic Hooker LPs, all digitally re-mastered, 22 solid slabs of dark, leathery, brooding nostalgia. This is the electric blues at its very roots. If there’s still anyone out there reading this magazine who hasn’t at least one Hooker album in their collection, then you’re still a long way from qualifying as a blues aficionado. So this is a good place to start. This stripped-bare, one man and a growling electric guitar (on most tracks) music is the stuff those guys who fled the south for the auto production lines in the north used to listen to.
This Soul Jam release presents one of Hooker's most difficult to find albums on CD, the eponymous John Lee Hooker. It was originally released in 1962 by the Fantasy Records' subsidiary Galaxy label. The album includes a selection of hard-to-find recordings taped with his electric guitar during different sessions in the 1950s, all of them produced by Bernard Besman, the man who helped define Hooker's recorded sound, which has often relied upon heavy walking beats, boogies, and an eerie atmosphere. In addition to the original masterpiece, this remastered collector's edition also contains 8 bonus tracks from the same period.