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John Lee Hooker & Canned Heat – Hooker ´N´ Heat – 1971

John Lee Hooker & Canned Heat – Hooker ´N´ Heat – 1971

No, unfortunately, Hooker ´N´ Heat is not the title of some naughty top shelf video from Thailand!

Here’s the peerless and fearless John Lee playing some of his classic blues numbers with support from the Heat way back in 1971!

They sure sound well together!
There have been a number of albums produced over the years which match a legendary figure from blues music with some his admirers in well known contemporary rock or blues bands. Blues and other music critics often lambast these efforts and hold them in utmost contempt.

Some of these sessions are truly awful but some come off well, such as “Fathers and Sons” with Muddy Waters and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. “Hooker ‘N’ Heat,” released on Liberty Records in 1970, stands as possibly the best example of generational meeting of the minds.

Canned Heat was at the top of their popularity and Hooker was fading from the public eye somewhat. This record helped to revitalize interest in Hooker’s music.

Most of Hooker’s best work, out of hundreds of recordings, many under assumed names, is solo, just “The Hook,” his left foot and his guitar. On albums where he recorded with full bands or other accompaniment his rough, often uneven style, with a measure count that often varied, didn’t mesh well with musicians accustomed to playing arrangements or standard blues classics. Sometimes the clash detracted from the product.

The band Canned Heat had no such problems. It was obvious that he loved the band and they loved him! Bob “The Bear” Hite, the band leader, who usually provided the gruff vocals on much of the band’s material, was a blues collector and historian and was well acquainted with Hooker’s music and the band itself was rough hewn and unpolished but played with feeling and a respect for the music.

Hite is not heard on the album. He wisely stood aside and gave the spotlight to Hooker.

No band ever backed the Hook better.

This was the last album for ‘Heat member Alan Wilson, who plays harmonica and piano. Wilson would soon after be dead from poisoning and choking on barbituates while on a camping trip. Wilson plays inspired harp on this album and gets special recognition from Hooker for it. Wilson is one of the under rated harmonica players of our time and this stands as his memorial.

With the recent passing of John Lee Hooker this album could be considered among his best work as well.

By Dick Neely

Mail, mail me your pillow baby, you been cryin’ on
You won’t call me, and neither send me, send me no telegram
Oha, oha, you won’t call me, baby, and neither, and neither send me no telegram
Just watching you baby, please send me your pillow baby, that you been cryin’ on baby
I just wanna let you know baby, I still think of you, oh yeah, oh yeah
I been cryin’ baby
My nights been so lonely
Oh yeah, that’s why I’m begging you baby
Please send me your pillow baby
This 1971 collaboration between primal one-part-Delta /one-part-Detroit singer-guitarist John Lee Hooker and Southern California blues revivalists Canned Heat works in large part because all parties involved are a little off.

Hooker, the most unsystematic of the major bluesmen of his generation, isn’t a good fit for disciplined players; rather, he requires sidemen who play by feel. In harp player-guitarist Alan Wilson, the Crawling King Snake found a particularly sympathetic foil; sadly, Wilson died shortly after these sessions were completed.

Roughly divided into spare, gritty Delta exercises and full-on boogie stomps featuring the full band, Hooker ‘n’ Heat is surely one of Canned Heat’s crowning moments, which isn’t saying that much. But that it stands as a milestone in Hooker’s oeuvre is quite a statement indeed!

-Steven Stolder


Disc 1

01 Messin’ with the Hook – Hooker – 3:19
02 The Feelin’ Is Gone – Hooker – 4:30
03 Send Me Your Pillow – Hooker – 4:46
04 Sittin’ Here Thinkin’ – Hooker – 4:07
05 Meet Me in the Bottom – Hooker – 3:33
06 Alimonia Blues – Hooker – 4:31
07 Drifter – Hooker – 4:56
08 You Talk Too Much – Hooker – 3:15
09 Burning Hell – Besman, Hooker – 5:25
10 Bottle Up and Go – Hooker – 2:28

Disc 2

01 The World Today – Hooker – 7:44
02 I Got My Eyes on You – Hooker – 4:25
03 Whiskey and Wimmen – Hooker – 4:34
04 Just You and Me – Hooker – 7:39
05 Let’s Make It – Hooker – 4:04
06 Peavine – Hooker – 5:04
07 Boogie Chillin No. 2 – Besman, Hooker – 11:33

John Lee Hooker: Guitar, Guitar (Rhythm), Vocals, Multi Instruments
Antonio Barrada: Bass
Adolfo de la Parra: Drums
Bob Hite: Vocals
Henry Vestine: Guitar
Alan Wilson: Guitar, Vocals

Here’s Johnny!

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thanks elcamaleongalegobrasileiro

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April 22, 2008 Posted by | Canned Heat, John Lee Hooker, Music_Blues, Music_ClassicRock, _MUSIC | 1 Comment

Canned Heat & John Lee Hooker – Live at the Fox Venice Theatre (1981)

Canned Heat & John Lee Hooker – Live at the Fox Venice Theatre (1981)

256kbps /covers/

Here’s 52 minutes of fantastic live boogie featuring Canned Heat and the late great John Lee Hooker, with the Chambers Brothers providing back-up vocals.
Lace up your boots and we’ll grove on down
To a knocked out shack on the edge of town
There’s an eight piece combo that just won’t quit
Keep walkin’ ’til you see a blue light lit
Fall in there and we’ll see some sights
At the house the house of blue lights

Second-guessing team-up records like this one is always a fun exercise. Having worked so well together on a 1971 album of the same name, both parties hoped to make lightning strike twice in front of a sweaty crowd, with an upstart indie label capturing it all.

There’s also an unavoidable poignancy infusing this low-key but energetic night, since the two vocal heavyweights (Hooker and Canned Heat’s towering frontman, Bob Hite) are no longer with us.

Canned Heat had weathered numerous lineup shuffles since the band did its original album with Hooker. The 1981 edition lacks its predecessors’ switchblade distinctiveness, but is also experienced enough to let the grooves speak for themselves. Where lesser talents might have felt compelled to fill every empty space, drummer Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra, pianist Ronnie Barron, and rhythm guitarist Mark Skyer turn in the sturdy, understated performances required to make this music work.

Hite works the house with an élan apparent from the opening swagger through “Hell Hound.” His delivery is always poised and self-assured, whether he’s scatting for the hell of it (“The House of Blue Lights”), trading in sly double entendres (“Open Up Your Back Door”), or working his way through a professional medley of the band’s biggest-known hits (“Let’s Work Together,” “Goin’ Up the Country”).

For his part, Hooker maintains his commanding presence, sounding far from a performer in the twilight of his career – and the energy levels rise accordingly.

His gravelly vocal bottom rises to the fore on slow-burning laments like “It Hurts Me Too” and “It Serves Me Right to Suffer.” The Chambers Brothers’ backing vocal choruses provide a nice touch, even if they’re not strictly necessary.

Blues fan will surely keep Hooker’s moments closest to their hearts, but everyone fares well. For anyone with doubts, this album shows what veteran performers can pull off when the occasion demands it.”

-Ralph Heibutzki, All Music Guide


Hell Hound

Strut My Stuff

Open Up Your Back Door

House Of Blue Lights

It Hurts Me Too

Wrapped Up

Medley: Let’s Work Together/Going Up The Country

Tease Me Baby

Serves Me Right To Suffer

Nobody Else But You


Here’s Johnny!

thanks elcamaleongalegobrasileiro

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April 22, 2008 Posted by | Canned Heat, John Lee Hooker, Music_Blues, Music_ClassicRock, _MUSIC | Leave a comment