Monday, October 8, 2012

Classic Album Review: "Hooker'n'Heat" by John Lee Hooker and Canned Heat

It was recommended to me that I purchase this album. I send a youtube link from James Leg and I was told that I needed to purchase this record. So I did.

This double album is the combined efforts of John Lee Hooker and Canned Heat. Based on the laid back timbre of the songs and talking between tracks. I'd wager this was recorded over the course of a weekend with basically no rehearsal. John makes mention of how no matter what he does, he can't lose that guy.

I'm not really much of a fan of the blues, but that's changing. What I do find myself enjoying these days though are collaboration albums. Painkillers by James Leg and Left Lane Cruiser, Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed, etc. I also really enjoy double albums. I think that if a band has the material, they should put it all out. On this record, they surely did. I would wager that they just all got into the studio and sat down in the big room and just waited for the red light to come on.

When I put in the first CD, I didn't really know what to expect. I was hoping to hear a big, full band, but that isn't what I heard. John's voice was coming out of the left speaker and a single guitar was coming out of the right speaker. In order to hear what was being sung, I had to turn the volume up quite high, but the guitar was about 2 ticks louder in the mix than the vocals, an this made these first couple tracks nearly impossible to listen to. I would have enjoyed it more had the full band been playing rather than just a guitar or harmonica and little, if anything, else.

As the first CD wore on, I did grow to enjoy this music more and more. I won't say that was in love with it, but it is definitely something that I am glad I own and will be a part of my music library for many years to come.

When I put in the second disc the fun really started. On disc two, instead of it being the voice and the guitar, it was all of them together in the room and they just killed it. Each song was better than what preceded it until it ended with an elven minute jam track. The song "Let's Make It" is quite reminiscent of John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom Boom," which is only a good thing.  The second disc makes this set worth owning if you're a newbie to the blues, like me.

Based on disc 2 alone, I can recommend this album.

Genre: Blues
Year: 1971
Run Time: 83:40


1. "Messin' with the Hook" – 3:23
2."The Feelin' Is Gone" – 4:32
3.  "Send Me Your Pillow" – 4:48
4. "Sittin' Here Thinkin'" – 4:07
5.  "Meet Me in the Bottom" – 3:34
6.  "Alimonia Blues" – 4:31
7.  "Driftin' Blues" – 4:57
8.  "You Talk Too Much" – 3:16
9. "Burnin' Hell" (Bernard Besman, Hooker) – 5:28
10. "Bottle Up and Go" – 2:27
11. "The World Today" – 7:47
12. "I Got My Eyes on You" – 4:26
13. "Whiskey and Wimmen'" – 4:37
14. "Just You and Me" – 7:42
15. "Let's Make It" – 4:06
16. "Peavine" – 5:07
17. "Boogie Chillen No. 2" – 11:33

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