Sunday, June 25, 2006

John Lee Hooker - Live at Cafe au Go-Go (Bluesway, 1967)

On this album, John Lee Hooker leads a cool after hours band featuring some amazing piano work from Muddy Waters alum Otis Spann in this live recording. Starting off with Hooker's deeply ominous "I'm Bad Like Jesse James" where John Lee describes all of the danger his former friend is in after fooling around with his wife

They may shoot you
They may cut you
I just don't know...

"When My First Wife Left Me" brings things even farther down into the alley with Spann's rippling piano and Hooker's minor key guitar playing and deep baritone voice describing his descent into the blues. John Lee knows he'll "Never Get Out of These Blues Alive" and sings it backed by his own dark percussive guitar sounding stark against the more sophisticated backing of the band.

Send comments to: Tim