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John Lee Hooker: Plays and Sings the Blues

Album Notes

Personnel includes: John Lee Hooker (vocals, guitar); Eddie Kirkland (bass).

Recorded in Detroit, Michigan in 1951 & 1952. Includes original release liner notes by Studs Terkel and liner notes by Don Kamerer.

It's hard to go wrong with Hooker's Chess material. With nothing but his raw, surging electric guitar, intensely soulful vocal delivery and his foot banging on a wooden board to keep rhythm, Hooker a creates thrilling, visceral atmospheres through which his songs travel like dark, haggard shadows. From "The Journey," a tale of lovers accompanied by a gritty, loping guitar line, to the tortured vulnerability of "Apologize" and the propulsive, walking jerk-tempo of "Dreamin' Boogie," Hooker lays deep, stripped down and nasty grooves. PLAYS AND SINGS THE BLUES, like most of Hooker's outstanding Chess recordings, is an utterly satisfying shot of classic blues.



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