Various Artists – From Clarksdale To Heaven – Remembering John Lee Hooker (2002)

FrontCover1For the first of two tribute albums to John Lee Hooker, executive producer Arnie Goodman of Blue Storm Music has assembled an impressive list of British musicians from the 1960s who helped spark the ’60s blues revival that was responsible for the ascension of Hooker (among others) into legendary status. The biggest name on his own is Jeff Beck, who plays guitar on “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and “Hobo Blues,” but other notable figures include Cream’s Jack Bruce, Leo Lyons and Ric Lee from Ten Years After, Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker, ex-Rolling Stone Mick Taylor, former Fleetwood Mac leader Peter Green, and Gary Moore. The performers are reverent toward Hooker’s music, maintaining its relentless rhythmic power and even at times re-creating the master’s haunting mumble of a voice. The set is not entirely given over to the Brits, however, as it opens with Inlet1A“I Want to Hug You,” sung by Hooker’s daughter, Zakiya, and ends with Hooker himself, accompanied by Booker T. Jones and Randy California, among others, performing a previously unreleased “Red House” that was cut for a Jimi Hendrix tribute album. There is also a newly written song (“The Business”) penned by Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter and Bay Area musician Greg Anton that was earmarked for a Hooker project never recorded due to his death. Such tracks provide some variety, but the strength of the album is still in the devoted performances of people like Beck and Green. (by William Ruhlmann )

From a child of his body and the children of his music, this is a chance to pay respects to the man who made his guitar a blacksmith’s anvil and pounded out rhythms of sorrow. Look for Jack Bruce’s Ozzy Osbourne-like sneer on “I’m in the Mood,” along with Gary Moore’s Godzilla footsteps on guitar. That’s Jeff Beck playing robot-metallic notes on “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and “Hobo Blues,” and Peter Green’s vocal sounds like a decaying zombie obeying his master on “Crawling King Snake.” John Lee himself paints a “Red House” with something other than crimson pigment, and I’ve got to credit Robert Hunter’s composition, “The Business,” by Greggs Eggs vocalist Suzanne Sterling for giving the old man that special smile with a posthumous kiss. (by Mitchell Lopate)

Inlet2A

Personnel:
Jeff Allen (drums)
Michael Bailey (bass, background vocals)
Richard Bailey (drums)
Jeff Beck (guitar)
Gary Brooker (piano, vocals)
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals)
Randy California (guitar)
Dave “Clem” Clempson (guitar)
Vince Converse (guitar, vocals)
Tony Cook (guitar)
David Daniel (bass)
Bruce Gary (drums)
Earl Green (vocals)
Peter Green (guitar, harmonica)
Kenny Greene (drums)
Dave Hadley (bass)
Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone)
John Lee Hooker (guitar, vocals)
Zakiya Hooker (vocals)
Gary Husband (drums)
Johnnie Johnson (piano)
Booker T. Jones (organ)
Ric Lee (drums)
Andy Fairweather Low (guitar)
Leo Lyons (bass)
Godfrey McLean (drums)
T.S. McPhee (guitar, vocals)
Max Middleton (piano)
Dave Moore (piano)
Gary Moore (guitar)
Bobby Murray (guitar)
Matt Pegg (bass)
Henry Spinetti (drums)
Peter Stroud (bass)
Mick Taylor (guitar, vocals)
Nigel Watson (guitar)
Chris Wilson (bass)

Inlet3A

Tracklist:
01. Zakiya Hooker, Johnnie Johnson, Bobby Murray: I Want To Hug You (Hooker) 4.04
02. Jack Bruce + Gary Moore: I’m In The Mood (Besman/Hooker) 6.19
03. LLC-Vince Converse, Leo Lyons, Ric Lee: Bad Like Jesse James (Hooker) 7.07
04. Jeff Beck: Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Traditional) 6.08
05. Gary Brooker + Andy Fairweather-Low: Baby Lee (Bracken/Hooker) 4.48
06. T.S. McPhee, Dick Heckstall-Smith: Ground Hog Blues (Hooker) 5.44
07. Mick Taylor + Max Middleton: This Is Hip () 3.50
08. Peter Green Splinter Group: Crawlin’ King Snake () 5.41
09. T.S. McPhee, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Clem Clempson: I’m Leaving () 5.25
10. Gary Brooker + Andy Fairweather-Low: Little Wheel () 5.34
11. Greggs Eggs: The Business () 4.36
12. Jeff Beck: Hobo Blues () 5.52
13. Gary Moore + Jack Bruce: Serve Me Right To Suffer () 6.24
14. John Lee Hooker, Booker T, Randy California: Red House (Hendrix) 4.57
(Prevously unreleased song with J.L. Hooker)

 

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