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REQUIRED LISTENING: a musician's personal notes about favorite artists.

The Ultimate Collection (1948-1990).
John Lee Hooker passed away in 2001, at the age of 83. His life was spent being one of the innovators and creators of the blues. The GREATS of the genre are defined by the fact that each one had an identifiable SOUND. John Lee Hooker's rhythmic feel was unique and it stayed that way throughout his entire 60 year recording career. He found his first success with "Boogie Chillin'" in the late 40s (which laid the ground work for many more great songs). "Crawlin' King Snake," "Dimples," "Boom Boom," "Big Legs, Tight Skirt" and "Bottle Up and Go" are all serious grooves that are almost impossible to emulate. Also included in this collection are some of his fine work with Canned Heat, "I'm Bad Like Jesse James" and "Burnin' Hell." In the end it all comes down to the John Lee Hooker groove, that is what makes his music so great. With his passing we have lost one of the last of the original blues men.

John Lee Hooker recorded up to the very end of his career. No sitting on laurels here, there's just not enough time for that sort of nonsense in this life.

posted: June 2004.


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