John Lee Hooker Jr. "All Hooked Up" with new album

Thursday, 27 September 2012 12:00 AM Written by 

51tdo95HJIL._SL500_AA280_John Lee Hooker, Jr. got started on his musical journey when he was about 8 years old -- roughly 1960 -- performing on a Detroit radio station. He was touring with his famous father by his mid-teens.

At 18, he recorded "Live at Soledad Prison" with John Sr., but later fell victim to problems with drugs and alcohol. Apparently changed by his father's death in 2001, Hooker returned to music with "Blues With a Vengeance" in 2004, honored as Comeback Artist of the Year by the San Francisco Bay Area Blues Society, and nominations by the Blues Foundation and the Grammys.

His latest -- "All Hooked Up" (Steppin' Stone Records, released last week), is his fifth album since then, and shows remarkable progression and musical maturity. 

The CD demonstrates Hooker's proficiency at writing and performing in a variety of styles that include the blues, a little funk, some soul, and even a few jazz-inspired moments. Guitarist Lucky Peterson guests on the set, and soulful Betty Wright joins Hooker on the sinuous ballad, "I Surrender."

The title track is a funky recounting of Hooker's life as the son of one of the great blues giants. It's a bit ironic, isn't it? The fame of his father's blues life helps bring him down, the music offers new salvation. Sounds just about right for the blues.

This is a solid album full of original music that uses the blues as a starting point. Hooker isn't is father's bluesman, but then, who would be?

This recording, "Dear John," is presented as an animated music video on DVD included with the CD:

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