LISTEN - John Lee Hooker: Hooker

[26 November 2006]

By Michael Keefe

John Lee Hooker: Hooker [Shout! Factory - $59.98 - 4 CDs]

John Lee Hooker was among the most important musicians of the latter half of the 20th century. He took the spare and lonesome sound of pre-World War Two acoustic blues and electrified it for the modern aesthetic, bridging two distinct eras of the genre. Hooker is everything one would want from a box set. It encapsulates a vast swath of musical history, showing both the personal evolution of a legendary musician and the gradual transformations that occurred in the genre. The tracks are impeccably well-chosen and lovingly remastered. The liner notes, with a compelling bio from Ted Drozdowski and highly detailed track listings, are enjoyable and an excellent resource. And, unlike many artists, John Lee Hooker’s music never turned downhill. On too many box sets (or even two-disc compilations), a halving of the act’s material would suffice. But any trimming here would be a crime. [Amazon]

Full PopMatters review

John Lee Hooker - I’m Leaving

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