Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

CD Review 'Mr. Lucky'; John Lee Hooker; Pointblank. A Smattering of Recent Releases Gives a Taste of Styles Ranging from Blues, Folk, Musical Theater, Classical, Rap, and Rock. the Writers Share 11 Compact Discs They Find Noteworthy

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

CD Review 'Mr. Lucky'; John Lee Hooker; Pointblank. A Smattering of Recent Releases Gives a Taste of Styles Ranging from Blues, Folk, Musical Theater, Classical, Rap, and Rock. the Writers Share 11 Compact Discs They Find Noteworthy

Article excerpt

Love and highways.

If John Lee Hooker's new album is any indication, the passions of youth never find the off-ramp.

In what may have been the spinoff of a Madison Square Garden tribute to Hooker last year, Robert Cray, Ry Cooder, Van Morrison, Carlos Santana, Keith Richards, Booker T. Jones, and several others bend their strings with one of the last great original Delta blues men.

Hooker lets his distinguished guests augment his own sound with theirs on "Mr. Lucky," producing an album that ranges from raucous boogie to sweet soul to pile-driving blues.

From the first note of "I Want to Hug You" to the last note of "Father Was a Jockey," each track is layered with the riffs that defined southern blues and added a hard edge to rock-and-roll.

John Lee Hooker was born in Clarksdale, Miss., a town renowned in blues history. The likes of Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters played its clubs.

Hooker, along with Lightnin' Hopkins and a few others, emerged in the late 1940s and early 1950s with a rough and raw southern blues sound that reached beyond New Orleans and Memphis to New York and Chicago. …

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