Today on Blogcritics
Home » Music » Music Review: John Lee Hooker Jr. – Live In Istanbul Turkey

Music Review: John Lee Hooker Jr. – Live In Istanbul Turkey

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

So what does a person do when his father is one of the legendary bluesmen of the twentieth century? The answer is simple, he plays the blues.

John Lee Hooker was born in 1917 and worked as a sharecropper early in life. By the time he passed away in 2001 at age 83 he had become recognized as one of the seminal musicians in American music history. His sound and style was somewhat different from many of the Delta blues artists of his generation. He electrified his music similar to the early Chicago blues artists but also stripped it down. His use of chords was unique plus he added a little boogie to his blues. It all earned him induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1991.

There is an old saying that the apple does not fall far from the tree. This is true in some ways for John Lee Hooker Jr. but it did roll a little way after hitting the ground. He has not tried to mimic his father which would have been an impossible task. Instead he has used his father’s approach as a foundation and molded it into his own vision.

His music is smoother and his voice is stronger. His use of brass to fill in the gaps gives his music a full sound.

He lost a lot of years to addiction and hard living but his life and career is now back on track. Since 2004 he has released three studio albums which have received critical acclaim. He has now returned with his first live release.

John Lee Hooker Jr. has traveled a lot of miles, both metaphorically and literally, to record this album. Live In Istanbul Turkey is modern traditional blues at its best.

He wrote or co-wrote twelve of the fourteen tracks. Late in the set he covers his fathers “Boom Boom” and “Maudie.” His own material tells his stories and there is some humor included. He is innovative in the use of the lead guitar and brass as at times it gives the music a funky and rock touch. “Doin’ The Boogie,” “Funky Funk,” “One Eye Opened,” and particularly “Fed Up” are all excellent.

There is also a DVD included which contains an animated superhero playing the blues. It seemed completely out of place until I learned it carried on a previous concept. The song performed here is his classic “Extra-marital Affair.” It is interesting, entertaining, and probably non essential.

John Lee Hooker Jr. is a second generation blues practitioner who has continued to help the traditional blues evolve in the 21st century. Live In Istanbul Turkeyis a fine addition to the American blues legacy.

Powered by

About David Bowling