All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Serving jazz worldwide since 1995
All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

CD/LP/Track Review

John Lee Hooker: Live At Newport (2002)

By Published: April 18, 2002
John Lee Hooker: Live At Newport From his first R & B hit, 1948's "Boogie Chillun," a hypnotic one-chord ostinato, John Lee Hooker would forever be known as King Of The Boogie. Although he was accompanied in the studio by an occasional piano, harmonica or Eddie Kirkland's empathetic second guitar, John Lee Hooker's improvisatory style and lack of apparent structural sense marked him as a solo artist in the most literal sense (unlike Muddy Waters, another native of the Mississippi Delta).

Live At Newport features several rare acoustic performances that were recorded during Hooker's appearances at the festivals of 1960 and '63. The hushed reverence of the Newport audience allowed Hooker to perform without any distractions, and he played it for all it was worth. Bassist Bill Lee accompanies Hooker on several selections, including the openers "Hobo Blues" and "Maudie." The Hook also extrapolates the Willie Dixon evergreen "I Can't Quit You, Baby" and Sonny Boy Williamson's "Stop Now, Baby." The Rest is all John Lee, playing favorites like "Boom Boom"and "Bus Station Blues" before reaching all the way back to his childhood for the insipiration for "Great Fire Of Natchez." (There is a caveat, however: Hooker's guitar is badly out of tune on more than half the selections here, and the consumer looking for a decent live recording of John Lee Hooker should be directed to look for Alone: The Second Concert [Blues Alliance 13013] or Live at Cafe Au Go-Go (And Soledad Prison) [MCA 11537].

Track Listing: Introduction by George Wein; Hobo Blues; Maudie; introduction by John Lee Hooker; I Can't Quit You, Baby; Stop Now, Baby; Tupelo; Sometimes You Make Me Feel So Bad; Bus Station Blues; Introduction by John Lee Hooker; Let's Make It; Great Fire Of Natchez; Boom Boom; Your're Gonna Need Another Favor; Introduction by John Lee Hooker; Hobo Blues; Boom Boom

Personnel: John Lee Hooker-guitar, vocal Bill Lee-string bass

Record Label: Vanguard Records

Style: Blues

comments powered by Disqus