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Postby maxx england » Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:55 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Dec-08-05 AT 07:57 AM (EST)]"From Clarksdale to Heaven" - Remembering John Lee Hooker.

This is a tribute album I found in Poundland, Chelmsley Wood.

A variety of artistes, doing their various things, here is my own personal critique, guaranteed to get up somebody's nose somewhere.


1 Zakiya Hooker - "I want to hug you" - pleasant enough modern blues but apart from the genes, not a traditional JLH number. But good enough for a party or BBQ.

2 Jack Bruce/Gary Moore - "I'm in the mood". Not with me you ain't. Bruce's attempt at JLH's voice is pub band amateurish and his own voice is plain perv creepy. Bass & guitar are undistinguished.

3 LLC - "Bad like Jesse James" - a competent enough cover, not bad, not top line either.

4 Jeff Beck & co - "Will the circle be unbroken" - not a Hooker style or sound, but a healthy upbeat version of the old classic.

5 Gary Brooker/Andy Fairweather-Low - "Baby Lee" - imagine Doctor John with a slightly intrusive drummer. Nice though.

6 T S McPhee/Dick Heckstall-Smith - "Groundhog Blues" - Although I am not happy with McPhee's voice on this, his guitar and Heckstall-Smith's skeletal jazz sax add up to a fine track to sit down to with a single malt in your hand.

7 Mick Taylor/Max Middleton -"This is hip" - stompin, rockin good fun. If you don't move you're in a mortuary.

8 Peter Green/Splinter Group - "Crawlin king snake" - OH DIS AM DE ONE!! Thin harmonica like vinegar, near African guitars, Green's voice not imitating, but in the style of, JLH, and a big bad standup bass thunking endlessly like a talking drum and the whole thing gets deep inside your bones. No alternative, this gets 11 out of 10.

9 McPhee/Heckstall-Smith/Clem Clempson - "I'm leavin" - the others create a good solid groove to carry Heckstall-Smith's crazed sax. Pass the malt again...

10 Brooker/Fairweather-Low - "Little wheel" - Fairweather-low's voice is fine, but the piece is dominated by Brooker's piano. The whole is good but a little overshadowed by the surrounding work.

11 Gregg's Eggs - "The business" - written for but never performed by JLH. Frankly, this one is of no interest to me, it's just out of place here, regardless of it being their own tribute to The Man.

12 Jeff Beck - "hobo blues" - Oooo! Funky, very 70's film soundtrack, freight yards, Richard Rowntree in flared trousers. Groove to this one.

13 Moore/Bruce - "serve me right to suffer" - they do more than make amends for their previous misdemeanour, Bruce laying down doom and misery on bass, Moore singing the message well, and his guitar hits the right 2 a.m. melancholy.

14 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED it says - JLH/Booker T/Randy California - "Red house" - immerse yourselves, soak in this one like a hot bath after a hard day, the sympathetic backing carrying JLH like royalty on a golden litter.

Released on Eagle Records WK23629, find it if you can.
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maxx england
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Postby bluesmouse » Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:28 pm

Sounds like it has all the people I usually avoid in the blues section! :) I understand how it would be most people's cup of tea though.
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