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The Real Folk Blues / More Real Folk Blues: John Lee Hooker

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iTunes Review

Chess issued John Lee Hooker’s original Real Folk Blues LP in 1966, and its sequel didn’t arrive until 1991, but both albums came from the same marathon session, the entirety of which is contained within this double reissue. Hooker plays with a full band that includes Lafayette Leake on keyboards and Eddie Burns on second guitar. It was a bold move for Chess to aim an album at the mostly white country blues revivalists that made absolutely no concessions to the prevailing edicts of that crowd. Hooker handles the material like it was another Saturday night at the Ebony Lounge. As is always the case with his albums, this particular set of players brings out a different aspect of Hooker’s personality. The playing is leather tough, but “Let’s Go Out Tonight,” “Mustang Sally & GTO,” and “You Know, I Know” are among the most amiable performances Hooker ever recorded. Balancing things out is the cloaked, whispered ruminations of “Nobody Knows” and “The Waterfront,” the second of which is one of the most unusual and poignant blues songs you’ll ever hear.

Customer Reviews

with respect

with respect to mr. Hooker, also check out a cover of "Serves me right to Suffer" by Eddie Skuller. a modern take on a john lee hooker classic!

The best bluesmen have a stutter

It's the truth. I don't know exactly why, but B. B. King and John Lee Hooker both stammered and stuttered when they talked. And, they are the greatest, most soulful cats ever to play the blues. This is a great sample of John Lee's music. The slow spooky numbers are his best, and they are as primal as blues music gets. For real.

Great Album

Let's Go Out Tonight is the best Hooker song that nobody really knows about. Boogie music at it's best.


Born: August 22, 1917 in Clarksdale, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

He was beloved worldwide as the king of the endless boogie, a genuine blues superstar whose droning, hypnotic one-chord grooves were at once both ultra-primitive and timeless. But John Lee Hooker recorded in a great many more styles than that over a career that stretched across more than half a century. "The Hook" was a Mississippi native who became the top gent on the Detroit blues circuit in the years following World War II. The seeds for his eerily mournful guitar sound were planted by his stepfather,...
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