John Lee Hooker - Early Years: Classic Savoy Sessions

John Lee Hooker - Early Years: Classic Savoy Sessions
Artist:
Album:
Early Years: Classic Savoy Sessions
Release Date:
April, 2004
Styles:
Acoustic Blues, Blues Revival, Country Blues, Delta Blues, Detroit Blues, Electric Blues, Electric Delta Blues, Regional Blues
Genre:

This is a double-CD set of John Lee Hooker material that happened to end up in the Savoy catalog, during eras when he seemed to have had a hard time meeting a label or recording studio he didn't like, so many companies did he record for. Disc One has sessions he cut, mostly with just his vocals and electric guitar, in November 1948 and February 1949. Disc Two contains the dozen songs that have been released in the past as the album Sittin' Here Thinkin'; although the liner notes to this package date the recording of these as in the late 1950s, other discographies give other, conflicting dates, ranging from the mid-'50s to the early 1960s. So it's a rather arbitrary collection of old Hooker sides, but one that has its virtues, though it shouldn't be the first port of call when assembling a library of his early work. The '48-'49 tracks on Disc One are very much in the stark, primitive, oft-boogying electric blues style he used on his better-known sessions during the period recorded for Modern. Is it repetitive, raw, and not as good as his best early stuff? Certainly, but that doesn't mean it isn't hypnotically atmospheric all the same, and worthwhile if you dig that approach and can't get enough of it. It's mostly in the foot-stomping, over-amped guitar vein, with some gloriously out-of-tune blur on "Boogie Woogie." The final four songs on the first CD, unlike the rest of the cuts on the disc, were recorded with a small band (including piano and drums), and while they're not as effective as the solo sides (and actually not as well recorded), they're pretty tough and hard-nosed as well. All of the Disc Two Sittin' Here Thinkin' material was recorded, in better fidelity, with a full electric band, including a second guitarist, bass, and drums. While this probably comes from the same era in which Hooker was making full-band electric sides for Vee Jay, they're somehow not as good as those Vee Jay sessions.

The sound isn't as full, and the songs aren't as full of R&B hooks. It seems more like rather hastily written and recorded work with a pick-up band, though lyrically it's full of the common Hooker themes of frustration, and seething, slightly restrained anger.

Title/ComposerPerformerTime
Low Down Midnite BoogieJohn Lee Hooker
Grievin' BluesJohn Lee Hooker
Twister BluesJohn Lee Hooker
Like a WomanJohn Lee Hooker
Landing BluesJohn Lee Hooker
Goin' Home BluesJohn Lee Hooker
Shady Grove BluesJohn Lee Hooker
Boogie WoogieJohn Lee Hooker
Good BusinessJohn Lee Hooker
Mercy BluesJohn Lee Hooker
Helpless BluesJohn Lee Hooker
Goin' Mad BluesJohn Lee Hooker
Morning BluesJohn Lee Hooker
Boogie AwhileJohn Lee Hooker
Tuesday Evening BluesJohn Lee Hooker
Miss Pearl BoogieJohn Lee Hooker
Road TroubleJohn Lee Hooker
609 BoogieJohn Lee Hooker
Christmas Time BluesJohn Lee Hooker
Do the BoogieJohn Lee Hooker
I Bought You a Brand New HomeJohn Lee Hooker
I Believe I'll Lose My MindJohn Lee Hooker
Teasin' MeJohn Lee Hooker
My Cryin' Days Are OverJohn Lee Hooker
Sittin' Here Thinkin'John Lee Hooker
Mean Mistreatin'John Lee Hooker
How Long?John Lee Hooker
How Many More Years?John Lee Hooker
C.C. RiderJohn Lee Hooker
Sad & LonesomeJohn Lee Hooker
Can't You See What You're Doin' to Me?John Lee Hooker
When My Wife Quit MeJohn Lee Hooker

MP3 Download 2018 riveraccorsi.com