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John Lee Hooker: Boom Boom

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone (4/29/93, p.65) - 3.5 Stars - Very Good - "...showcases both his brooding and boogieing styles effectively.... John Lee proves he's lost none of his musical vitality forty-five years after recording his first hit..."

Q (12/92, p.124) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...If you ever need evidence to support the `older you are the better you get' theory of artistic development, call John Lee Hooker as Exhibit A..."

Musician (2/93, p.94) - "...there's nothing new about the studio strategy...Nor is there anything especially novel about the songs, which manage to sound old even when they're not. Naw, it's just the usual for John Lee--and isn't that reason enough to listen?..."

Vox (12/92, p.95) - 9 - Excellent Plus - "...reveals surprising power...Throughout, Hooker plays and sings with a vigor that belies his age. By any standards, this is prime John Lee Hooker, reaching back to the roots of his inspiration to create a contemporary triumph..."

NME (Magazine) (11/7/93, p.35) - 7 - Very Good - "...The only surprising thing about Hooker's new album is that, after all these years, he can render

Album Notes

Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocals, guitar); John Hammond (guitar, harmonica); Robert Cray, Albert Collins, Jimmie Vaughan, Rich Kirch, Billy Johnson, Mike Osborn (guitar); Charlie Musselwhite (harmonica); Mitch Woods (piano); Deacon Jones (organ); Jim Guyett, Steve Ehrmann (bass); Scott Mathews, Bowen Brown (drums).

Recorded at Russian Hill Recording, San Francisco, California and The Plant, Sausalito, California.

Produced by slide guitar maestro Roy Rogers, BOOM BOOM finds John Lee Hooker matched with an assortment of famous names. Robert Cray and his band provide sultry backup on "Same Old Blues Again" and with Jimmie Vaughan taking Cray's place, the band jukes it up on the title track. The late Albert Collins helps the Hook turn "Boogie At Russian Hill" into an infectious shuffle, whereas "Bottle Up And Go" slows things down a bit more, with John Hammond contributing guitar and harmonica to the proceedings.

Hooker's greatness is most apparent when his only accompaniment comes from a guitar on which he's scraping out primitive chords. The results range from the bittersweet "Hittin' The Bottle Again" to the more ominous "I'm Bad Like Jesse James." The only other time a song gets this sinister is when Charlie Musselwhite uses some understated harmonica playing to give "Thought I Heard" a more dastardly edge. Moments like this make it seem as if the Devil met his match in John Lee Hooker after getting the best of Robert Johnson.



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